Introduction to the Regions of Napa Valley. When you first decide to visit Napa Valley you may well find that the most difficult decision is which winery or wineries you want to visit. This is because there are literally hundreds of wineries in Napa Valley, scattered throughout a 35 mile area that can be broken down into several different regions within that area.
Napa Valley, located in Napa County, is just one of the many wine regions in the wine country of Northern California; however, it is certainly one of the most well known. In fact, Napa Valley is thought to be one of the most vital wine growing regions in the entire United States. Some of the most well known wineries in Napa Valley include Chateau Montelena, Beringer and Charles Krug Winery; however, there are many, many other wineries located throughout Napa Valley as well. While wine production in Napa Valley did suffer during Prohibition; following World War II, the wine industry in Napa Valley began to experience an upsurge.
Today, Napa Valley is home to more than 200 wineries. While you might find it difficult to visit all of the wineries in Napa Valley you can certain visit many by taking one of the numerous wine tours that operate throughout Napa Valley. Through these wine tours you will gain an opportunity to view and taste the many different varietals that are produced in Napa Valley including Chardonnay, Zinfandel, merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and many more.
There are fifteen different regions within Napa Valley. Carneros is considered to be one of the best regions in Napa Valley and is home to numerous quality wineries. On the north end of Napa Valley, you will find Oak Knoll. Oak Knoll is considered to be quite versatile and was finally granted AVA status in 2004.
Coombsville, located to the east, is also occasionally referred to as Tulocay. This region has not yet been established as an AVA region; however, you will still find numerous excellent wineries in this region.
Most of the wineries in Napa Valley are located on Highway 29; however, there are a number that are located just off Highway 29. The Yountville AVA is one of those areas. In the past twenty years this region has changed significantly. In this region you will find that the wineries are somewhat warmer. Slightly north to the region, the Yountville Mounts are situated, which help to block the fog coming in from San Pablo Bay as well as the wind.
Rutherford, Oakville and St. Helena, three of the most well known wine regions in Napa Valley, are located quite close to one another. The wineries in these regions have become well known for producing high quality Cabernet Sauvignon.
A row of hills running north to south separates the Napa Valley floor from the Stags Leap AVA region. Due to the fact that these hills tend to act as a sort of funnel for wind, the Stags Leap region can be somewhat cool and breezy; even when other areas in Napa Valley are warm.
Atlas Peak is situated high in the hills. This area was once home to many Sanviovese vineyards; however, today many of the wineries in this region are focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon.
Historically, the Mount Veeder AVA has been considered to be one of the best in the area. This is because they have typically produced grapes that are high-quality as well as scarce. On the mountain slopes in the area, Syrah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon are commonly planted.
Diamond Mountain as well as Spring Mountain are situated in the north. The wineries in this region are known for a specific type of Cabernet Sauvignon that tends to be produced in very small quantities.
In the northeastern hills, you will find Howell Mountain. A number of well known wineries are located in this area and tend to do quite well because of the sunny weather.
Chiles Valley is one of the premier Zinfandel regions in the state of California. The isolation of this AVA region has allowed this vineyard to survive the problems that have historically destroyed many other vineyards.
One of the most recent additions to Napa Valley is Wild Horse Valley. This region is situated in the southeastern hills. The windy, cool climate is perfect for producing Chardonnay as well as Pinot Noir.