The eastern side of Napa Valley includes areas such as Pope Valley, Chiles Valley, Wooden Valley, Stags Leap District and lower Calistoga. Vines in these areas, are grown in thin, volcanic soils, which yield smaller, more concentrated fruit, producing Bordeaux-style Cabernet Sauvignons with classic berry and cassis flavors.
Wooden Valley is a lesser-known area of Napa Valley, but has recently caught the attention of critics. Located east of the town of Napa, this small, round little valley is only about 2 miles wide, but has a history of grape growing since the early 20th century. While Calistoga is know for its pampering spas, before reaching this luxurious little town, there is a stretch of rural, rustic land. A large portion of our grapes, come from this lower area of Calistoga. These vineyards have been farmed by the same family for 60 years. View all B Side Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.