Napa Valley

California

Napa Valley It's been nearly 175 years since the first wine grapes were planted in Napa Valley, where the fortuitous combination of climate and soil yield phenomenal wines. Napa's storied history has unfolded over nearly two centuries, and it is now among the world's most revered wine growing regions.

The 1850s ushered in Napa's first commercial wineries, which totaled 140 by the end of the 19th Century. But the region's wine industry suffered devastating setbacks in the early 20th Century. Phylloxera decimated much of the vineyard acreage, and the dawn of Prohibition in 1920 virtually closed the door on Napa's burgeoning wine industry.

In the decades that followed the end of Prohibition in 1933, Napa slowly recovered, building wineries and adopting sophisticated winegrowing and winemaking techniques. But it was the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 that forced the world to take a closer look at Napa. When a Napa Valley Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon bested some of France's most renowned labels in a blind tasting, Napa Valley's irrefutable reputation as a world-class wine producer was born.

Napa Valley is approximately 35 miles long and one to five miles wide. It’s snug between the Mayacamas and Vaca mountains in northern California and claims some of the most expensive agricultural land in the world. The convergence of the right soils, climate, elevation, and skills of the grape grower and winemaker, make Napa Valley the most revered wine appellations in North American. Despite its place in the pantheon of great wine regions of the world, Napa Valley only accounts for 4% of total California grape production.

Napa Valley continues to evolve and today the next generations are making their mark in this historical region. Many winemakers and viticulturists are looking to the past for today's inspiration as evidenced by century old Semillon and Zinfandel vineyards (among others) being fought over for grape contracts. The future of Napa Valley is as bright as it was when Robert Mondavi, John Daniel, Louis Martini, Georges de Latour and Andre Tchelischeff made their first wines.