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Napa Valley

Napa Valley is considered by many to be the superior wine production region in California. The valley is situated in Napa County, California, which is located just north of the San Francisco Bay Area. The name 'Napa' stems from a Native American language. The meaning is not clear, but it is thought to mean either "grizzly bear", "motherland", "fish" or "house", the most probable meaning being "house".

Despite the translation of the name, Napa Valley is certainly known for something entirely different; it's wines. Rightly so, in fact, as this region produces very fine produce. Amongst the internationally acclaimed wines reside such names as: Cabernet Sauvignon; the so called 'King of Red Grapes'. This wine is great with meat or cheese dishes.

Merlot: best served with lighter meat dishes.

Pinot Noir: a difficult grape to grow and turn to wine, it takes years to develop a good Pinot Noir in California.

Chardonnay: this is a very popular grape variety in Napa Valley and can be served well with a variety of dishes from seafood to light meat dishes.

Sauvignon Blanc: a very popular wine because of it's distinctive taste.

Sangioves: these wines can enhance a variety of foods.

Zinfandel: there are many varieties of Zinfandel and thus every wine-drinker can find a Zinfandel that they like.

Napa Valley has produced wine as far back as the nineteenth century. It's excellent production is due to many factors including it's Mediterranean climate, it's location within California and the geology of the land. Within a relatively small area the valley is capable of creating wine of great variety because within the valley exist many micro-climates, due to different weather factors and geographical changes.

The beginning of the Napa Valley's wine success, which began in 1861, is attributed to a man named Charles Krug. Within a mere two decades, by 1889, the single winery established by Krug had grown to 140 operating wineries. Napa Valley suffered severe set-backs in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The grape phylloxera, a relation to aphids, and a pest to commercial grapevines wiped out many of the vines in the valley. In 1920 came the prohibition which posed an even larger threat to the wineries. Thankfully however, the area overcame these challenges and went onto produce the quality wines which we know today.

The following wineries within Napa Valley are open to the public: "Alpha Omega", "Andretti Winery", "Artesa Winery", "Bennett Lane" and "Beringer Vineyards".

Some of the wineries in Napa Valley offer wine-tasting, such as "Brown Estate Vineyards", "Burgess Cellars", "Cardinale" and "Chimney Rock Winery".

Napa Valley is the place almost everyone has heard about with respect to California wines. It is located about 1 hour north of San Francisco, and 8 hours north of Los Angeles. It includes the towns of Napa, Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena and Calistoga. In Napa County, you can find charming bed and breakfasts, world-class food, and of course world-famous wines. Many of the wineries offer tours as well as wine tasting. You can visit Napa Valley's scenic countryside along with wineries by car, bus or limousine.

External resources

  • http://www.napavintners.com/wineries/open_public.asp : List of wineries open to the public.
  • Beringer Vineyards : Beringer Vineyards, the oldest continuously operating winery in Napa Valley and the first to offer public tours, continues its commitment to offer guests original and inspiring wine country experiences.
  • Mumm Cuvée Napa : Found in the heart of Napa Valley, Mumm Cuvée Napa invites you to visit our beautiful winery. Visit our art gallery, tour the winery, and sample our sparkling wines while you enjoy the view of the Valley from our tasting terrace
  • Bouchaine Vineyards : Bouchaine Vineyards, founded in 1981, is a 104-acre estate in the prestigious Carneros region of Napa Valley. Located just north of San Pablo Bay, the climate is influenced by the fog that floats in each night. The shallow, mostly clay soils are best suit to the Burgundian varietals of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
  • Sutter Home Winery : Sutter Home Winery, creator of White Zinfandel, is a Napa Valley winery owned by the Trinchero family, who also produce Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other varietal wines under the Sutter Home and M. Trinchero labels, Zinfandel and Italian varieties under the Montevina label, nonalcoholic wines under the Fre label, and a line of seven pasta sauces
  • Domaine Chandon : Chandon
  • Rutherford Hill Winery : Makes red, white, and fortified port-style wines. Features current release descriptions, shopping, reviews, event planning information, and a company overview
  • Mondavi Vineyards : Founded by Robert Mondavi in 1966, the Robert Mondavi Winery is located in Oakville, Napa. The quality of its wines and innovative winemaking helped pave the way for California wines to be recognized internationally.
  • Peju Province Winery : Family Estate Winery, Rutherford, CA - Napa Valley.
  • Niebaum-Coppola : Niebaum-Coppola Winery Napa Valley, CA
  • Franciscan Estates : Franciscan Oakville Estate
  • Beaulieu Vineyards : Find out more about BV's Napa Valley benchmark wines.
  • Hess Vineyards : Known for Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot, as well as its art gallery. Includes product descriptions, recipes, news, virtual tours, and a company overview.
  • Louis Martini : Louis M. Martini is a family-owned California winery famous for Sonoma and Napa appellation red table wines such as Merlot.
  • St. Supéry Vineyards : St. Supery Napa Valley Winery concentrating in Estate Grown Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, and Meritage Blends. St. Supery Winery offers winery tours and wine tasting in Rutherford, California
  • Raymond Vineyards : Five generations of winemaking experience at this producer of red, white, and dessert wines. Includes product descriptions, shopping, events, and a company overview.

    Limousine Services

  • Crown Limousine : Napa Valley Crown Limousine services for wine touring, weddings and airport service


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