Discover the Napa Valley appellations
The Napa Valley is located next to San Francisco, California. Here, in the western part of the United States, the fog coming from the neighboring Sonora Desert lays on top of the 17,000 hectares vineyard nestled in the valley. This particular weather phenomenon is actually very good for the grapevines, as it moistens and refreshes them. Same can be said for the soils, a mixture of sediments, ashes and volcanic rocks. The Napa Valley is famous for its high-end wines, although the region only produces 5% of the entire California output.
Colonized by Spain in 1769, the Californian State was not known for its vineyard at all but rather for its rich subsoil, full of precious minerals and metals. During one of many gold rushes, a few savvy European settlers decided to become winemakers in the New World, instead of prospectors. Among them were men like George C. Yount, Charles Krug, John Patchett and a few others.
Their efforts started to bear fruits, at least until 1873. That year, the flourishing American wine business took a big hit due to the phylloxera invasion (a parasitic insect that feeds on the grapevines). And that’s only one of the major crises the Californian vineyard had to face. In 1910, Prohibition was another huge blow. Nine years later, the world stopped because of a financial crisis. Let’s not forget World War II, in 1939.
The American vineyard came back from the dead in the 1960’s, finally. So, in a way, the wine business is rather young. In 1976, a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and a bottle of Chardonnay made in the Napa Valley won first place during a blind wine tasting organized by the famous Judgment of Paris. The USA were chosen over French wine regions like Bordeaux or Burgundy! This event helped cement the reputation of the country and it was a very proud moment for the 300+ winemakers of California. We also mustn’t forget about Robert Mondavi, one of Charles Krug protegees and an iconic wine seller of the Napa Valley, who completely redefined what wine marketing could be.
Browse our selection of Napa Valley wines.Read more