Lying just over fifty miles north of San Francisco, the city of Napa and its surrounding areas offer fantastic views of rolling hills, flora and fauna, and of course immense stretches of vineyards. Here you can find up market restaurants and an abundance of hotels, but even with masses of visitors during March to October, Napa remains beautifully peaceful.
The area started to transform after word of the region’s temperate climate spread in the 19th century; by the late 1840’s the area was teeming with quicksilver mines and lumber mills as well as operating vineyards. The Prohibition, introduced in 1920, dealt a lethal blow to the early wine industry at the time, but today however, with foresight and determination, the industry has exceeded its former “golden age”.
The region now boasts more than four hundred wineries with a very high percentage being family owned and operated. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grape varieties in the region, although Napa holds some fantastic surprises for anybody looking for something a little different.
If you’ve never been to this wine region before, the best way to get involved is to actively visit the abundance of wineries and take an introduction into their portfolio in one of the many tasting rooms. If someone’s willing to drive, you’re going to save heaps on the cost of a private tour bus, although the planned excursions do offer fantastic guides who harbor a wealth of knowledge.
Here’s a few more articles that will expand on Napa if you’re looking to read a little further, happy reading!
- Ten Napa Valley wineries that should be better known (steveheimoff.com)
- Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc: An appreciation (steveheimoff.com)
- Summertime in the Napa Valley [PHOTOS] (uncork29.com)
- Photos: Napa Valley grape harvest (photos.denverpost.com)
By Connell Green