Napa Valley Wineries And Wines

California Vineyards

Napa Valley is located in Napa County, in Northern California. This area has some of the best soil and perhaps the best climate for growing wine grapes in the United States. As a result, the area is one of the country’s most productive wine regions. There are also several other wine regions in Northern California, although the area around Napa is the most well known.

It would be impossible to visit all of the wineries in the area during a short visit, but the Napa wine tourism industry makes it easy to visit many by taking one of their numerous tours. Options include the the train, which is one of only a handful of historical passenger railroads in operation today. Seeing numerous wineries in a single day is possible in this region because most of them are located along Highway 29 or less than a mile from the highway.

The valley stretches between Mt. St. Helena to the north and the region’s largest city, Napa California, to the south. Highway 29 runs the length of the west side of the valley, which is bordered by the Vaca mountains and the Mayacamas mountains to the east and west respectively. The valley itself is divided into 15 regions, each of which offers its own unique wines. For example, Carneros is home to many high-quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines and Chiles Valley is the most well-known Zinfandel region.

St. Helena, Oakville and Rutherford

St. Helena, Oakville and Rutherford are neighboring regions in the north of the valley known for their Cabernet Sauvignon. The wineries in this area includes the iconic Robert Mondavi Winery, which was started in 1966. It is still in operation today in Oakville.

Napa Valley LodgeYountville

Yountville is almost in the center of the valley, located beside the Yountville Mounts. These hills help to block fog, wind and cold weather, providing warmer conditions for the vineyards of Yountville. Yountville is perhaps best known for being home to the Napa Valley Lodge, a picturesque hotel set in a Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard.

The Stags Leap region

The Stags Leap region, like Yountville, has hills to thank for its distinct wine grape growing conditions. The hills around Stags Leap push wind and cold into the area, creating cool, breezy temperatures in the vineyards.

Atlas Peak

Atlas Peak was built in the hills surrounding the valley in order to plant Sanviovese vineyards. Many wineries in the region, however, produce Cabernet Sauvignon today. Howell Mountain is located in the valley’s northeastern hills, in an area that allows it to receive more sunlight than most of the valley.

Mount Veeder

Vineyards in the Mount Veeder region are planted on mountain slopes, where the soil and climate produce unique flavors. The planting space, however, is limited making these among the most exclusive wines sold in the valley. Syrah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are all grown in small quantities in the region. Diamond Mountain and Spring Mountain are also situated on mountain slopes. They grow very specific types Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, and produce wine in limited quantities.

Oak Knoll

Oak Knoll is a versatile region located in the north part of the valley. One of the newest areas, Oak Knoll is still developing and is not yet dedicated to a particular style of wine. Another recently established region is the Wild Horse Valley, which is in the hills in the southeast. The wineries in the area make Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Coombsville, sometimes called Tulocay, is a region in the eastern part of the valley. It is not yet an official region for wine making, but is thought to be one of the next that will be established. There are many young wineries in the area that are open to tours.

Each region also offers more to visitors than stunning views of vineyards and wine tasting. There are hotels, spas and fine dining throughout the valley, making it a suitable travel destination even for those who aren’t wine lovers who are looking for a nice vacation getaway. Calistoga, for example, is located at the north end of the valley. In addition to wineries, it has a number of spas, hot springs, and mud baths. It also hosts the famous Old Faithful Geyser and is just a few miles from the Petrified Forest.

Wine Tours

There are hundreds of companies who offer tours of the valley. There are tours running all day, and almost every day of the year. Most tours include multiple winery tours, a look at the wine making process, wine tastings and discounts on wine purchased on the tour. Some tours also include a comprehensive history of the area and a discussion of the types of wine grapes.