Napa Valley is one of the best-known wine regions in the world. Nestled between the Napa and Calistoga townships, the valley attracts millions of tourists and wine lovers every year. Located just an hour’s drive from San Francisco, the valley passes through some of the most valuable viticultural real estate on Earth.
The History of Wine in Napa Valley
The Napa Valley is filled with amazing wine history. The region’s official wine industry dates back to 1944. In that year, the Napa Valley Vintners, the trade group for area winemakers, was formed by just seven vintners. Almost 40 years went by, though, before the region was officially recognized as a wine region, or a wine appellation. In 1981, the Valley was finally recognized for its high-quality wines and distinctive regional terroir when it became California’s first American Viticultural Area (AVA). Since the 1980s, Napa Valley has grown exponentially. The region went from having a few dozen wineries to several hundred currently in the area.
The Wine Regions Located in Napa Valley
The Napa Valley incorporates a range of different locales ready for anyone to visit. You can explore all of its regions on your wine trip, stroll through the vineyards, get to know the various winemakers, and drink award-winning Napa Valley wines while enjoying breathtaking views.
The valley’s different wine regions are: Atlas Peak, Calistoga, Chiles Valley, Coombsville, Diamond Mountain, Howell Mountain, Los Carneros, Mount Veeder, Oak Knoll, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Spring Mountain, Stags Leap, Wild Horse Valley, and Yountville.
Napa Valley’s Key Grape Varieties
Although a variety of grapes can be found in the diverse regions of the valley, Napa Valley is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon. The archetypal Napa Valley wine is a “Napa Cab,” a rich, oak-aged red wine with aromas of blackcurrant, boysenberry, liquorice, vanilla and smoky, bittersweet chocolate.
Beyond that, the most popular varieties are Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. There are just over 45,200 total acres planted with vineyards, making up one-tenth of the total area of the entire valley.
Why Visit the Famous Napa Valley?
If you are a wine lover, this famous wine region must be on your bucket list. You will taste wine of the highest standards while experiencing the idyllic Mediterranean-like climate — a match made in heaven for those in the area!