Napa Wine


There is some debate over how this famous wine region got its name. Spanish settlers named the Native American tribe that originally inhabited the area “Wappo,” and some say this is a derivation of “guapo” meaning “handsome,” while others say it means “brave,” with Napa being a further spin-off. Another legend is that Napa is a Wappo word for the land itself. Regardless, with its Mediterranean climate and diverse terroirs, this land eventually became one of the most important wine regions in the world. 
The first vineyards in Napa were planted in 1836 by George Calvert Yount in what is now the town of Yountville. In the 1850s, Thomas Rutherford, who married Yount’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Yount, established the first vineyard in what would become Rutherford town. The first commercial winery was established by Charles Krug in the 1860s. Soon, the likes of Inglenook, Beringer and Schramsberg and many others set up their wineries Read more »

Mentor for Napa Wines

Craig Donofrio

Craig Donofrio is an Advanced Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers and has worked and consulted for some of the nation's top restaurants. He is chief food/wine photographer at Grapevine Studios (

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Popular wines made in Napa under $20

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Varietals Produced in Napa View all

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

Subregions of Napa

  • Carneros

    Los Carneros- The first AVA one comes to as one splits off the Napa Vallejo Highway and takes rou...

  • Stags Leap District

      Stags Leap District is located on the famous Silverado Trail of the Napa Valley region in ...

  • Yountville

    To the south of Oakville and comprised virtually entirely of valley floor land, Yountville is the...

Popular Wineries in Napa View all

  • Screaming Eagle Winery

      Screaming Eagle is a small winery based in Oakville, California. . The 1992 vintage garner...

  • Three Thieves

    You may have heard the tale of the Three Thieves, three regular guys who threw away centuries of ...

  • Joseph Carr

    Joseph Carr wines are produced at Larson Family Vineyards in Carneros, bordering both Napa and So...

  • Bond

    BOND: A stable of Napa Valley thoroughbreds — ultimately six Cabernet-based wines — assembled und...

  • Michael Pozzan Winery

    Michael Pozzan Winery is owned and operated by Michael and Mary Ann Pozzan, both natives of Calif...

  • Stonehedge Winery

    In 1992, the Shahabi Brothers began producing wines in the small town of St. Helena, situated in ...

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Napa on Snooth

  • Buehler is a solid maker.  I can't believe they can make a Napa Valley CS that is so good and costs so little. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Terra Valentine Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District Yverdon 2006


    Very attractive red-plum color. Unusual, herbal nose. Lots of jammy fruitblackberry, currant--on entry. As the wine passes back I get an interesting chalky sensationmouthfeel sensation, not flavor. This is, probably, Spring Mountain tannin. Fortunately, the fruitiness dissipates as the wine move towards the back of the mouth where I get mor... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Come enjoy the fruits of 18 Spring Mountain wineries!Eighteen winery members of ... cultivate grapes on one of Napa Valley’s steepest—and most historic—mountain regions.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Spring Mountain Districts...

  • Apsara Chardonnay Oakville 2016


    Pale yellow in color. Tropical fruit aroma. Tropical fruit--pineapple, guava, banana--on the tip of the tongue, then, some caramel. Observable oak, but not over the top. Some stoniness. Nice refreshing acid. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Over the years I have posted here on Snooth about wines that my brother-in-law ... ... was a very good year for Napa Valley Cabs,  The bottle and cork appeared to be in pretty good shape, but I've been fooled before.  As I started screwing in the corkscrew I though, "Uh-oh, this feels pretty soft.  I probably should have used the Ah-so."  (I d... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's your Choice of Wine...

  • Apsara Cabernet Sauvignon Kenefick Ranch 2013


    Interesting that the first taste sensation I had with this wine was savory. Then we returned to the mean. Dark fruit--blueberry and, maybe, raisins. Nice dustiness, mid-palate. Quite sedate tannins for a wine of such youth. Enjoyable now, probably better in the future. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • ZUF agree with your comparisons, last year I opened a bottle of Opus, insignia, ... difference between them and Napa. I believe I can get the same quality at a better pri Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

  • You are quite right; I neither lost nor gained as the virtual reality was not ... ... (or, on other occasions, Napa and Anderson Valley), I find this a bit amusing;  California wines - if masterfully crafted (and many are, indeed, so crafted) represent a certain style that, as the post-modern  expression has it, is what it is... I find that, w... Read More

    Forum post in the topic The Humble Côtes du Rhône...

  • Why?  We're having beef for dinner, tonight.  I really like CS ... beef.Another awesome '13 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.A bit more fruit forward than the Mending Wall reported above--blueberry and miscellaneous dried dark fruit.  Observable dustiness, mid palate.  Fairly controlled tannin.  I do not feel bad, for even one millisecond, about... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's your Choice of Wine...

  • Mending Wall Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013


    Beautiful deep dark plum color. Wonderful black fruitcurrant, cassison the tip of the tongue. More flavors on the rear tongue and under the rear palatesome dustiness, some unsweetened chocolate. This is a terrific wine, today, but with its still sturdy tannin and nice tart acid, investing storage space for this wine will reap additional rewards. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

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