|Napa Valley Appellation Tours|
The Napa-Sonoma wine country extends from the peaks of the Vaca range, over the Mayacamas Mountains west to the Pacific Coast, comprising numerous micro climates known as appellations (not to be confused with that mountain range back East). Napa Valley is an appellation in itself, and there are 15 sub-appellations in Napa County and 13 in Sonoma. One appellation, Los Carneros, straddles both counties. Each American Viticultural Area (AVA or appellation) has its distinct characteristics of climate and soil, sometimes called terroir, that put their mark on the grapes that are grown there. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon is the predominant varietal which is grown in virtually every growing area with the exception of Los Carneros. Each area alone can provide a wonderful day in wine country, plan your next wine tour to focus on one or more. Start to learn the valley secret boutique wineries tucked away in the appellations. Let us help you plan your next appellation tour.
- Atlas Peak AVA
- Calistoga AVA
- Chiles Valley AVA
- Coombsville AVA
- Diamond Mountain AVA
- Howell Mountain AVA
- Los Carneros AVA
- Mount Veeder AVA
- Oak Knoll AVA
- Oakville AVA
- Rutherford AVA
- Spring Mountain AVA
- St. Helena AVA
- Stags Leap AVA
- Wild Horse Valley AVA
- Yountville AVA
Atlas Peak, as the name implies, is mountain fruit. First planted in 1870 this AVA is as rich in history as it is in vineyards. The cooler
temperatures in the evening and limited water retention (water runs downhill) create the perfect balance for growing grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay grow well, but it is
home to some wonderful bourdeax style wines; Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Mabec and Petit Verdot all grow here. The higher altitudes are known for their good acidic qualities in the wine.
This mountain appellation is defined by vineyards that range from small to smaller, often hand-tilled on terraces and sloping meadows, and wineries hidden from view among dark forests and steep winding roads. Over the years, despite its limited space and remoteness, the appellation has produced an abundance of wines acclaimed worldwide for the unmistakable intense flavor and delicate, balanced tannins that are now the signature of Spring Mountain wines.
Stag's Leap is known by European brothers as one of the regions that won the blind tasting back in Paris, 1976. Since then it is a popular area visited by wine collectors from around the world. The district stretches from the hillsides and bare rocks of Stags Leap itself to vineyards on the valley floor. This AVA is often up to 10 degrees F warmer than in the adjacent Yountville AVA. Principal varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Mount Veeder, at the south end of the Napa Valley, has a cool to moderate climate, with most vineyards above the fog-line. It touts being the only mountain access to the oceans cool breeze. Its long growing season and rugged terrior produce small crops of tiny intense berries. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
and Zinfandel grapes are grown in the mostly sandy and sandy-loam soils of this district.
Howell Mountain is directly across the Valley from Spring Mountain, but it's slightly warmer and dryer thanks to strong afternoon sun. Soils are predominantly volcanic, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Viognier the principal varietals. The writers opinion: "One of my absolute favorite Cabernet Sauvignon."
The grape growing areas on the floor of the Napa Valley, Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, and St. Helena are moderately warm (up to the low 90s F in high summer) These areas are known primarily for red varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Zinfandel that grow well in the gravelly alluvial soil on the western side and the more fertile volcanic soil toward the Vaca Mountains.
Calistoga is the newest sub-appellation in the Napa Valley. Situated at the far north end of the Valley, this growing area enjoys warm to hot summer temperatures with cool afternoon and evening breezes. Soils are almost completely of volcanic origin, and the principal varietals are Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah and