Napa Valley (General Information)
The most famous winemaking region in the United States is Napa Valley, which is just a small microcosm of the California Wine Country that is relatively compact. Just 35 miles long it claims over 34,000 acres of vineyards. You can dive across Napa Valley in under an hour during the busy season. The City of Napa is the center of the winery commercial center and Chamber of Commerce.
Napa wins out over Sonoma by Marketing alone. Most people know about Napa Valley all over the world. Sonoma is known, popular, but just not quite the presence that Napa Valley and its wineries has.
Yountville, Napa Valley
Many Founded in 1831 by George Calvert Yount. He planted Napa Valley's first grapevines in Yountville. Hence the town is known as the "birthplace of Napa Valley's wine industry."
Population: 3506 (Yountville - 2306: CA Veteran's Home - 1,200)
Location: 45 miles North of San Francisco
Size: 1.56 Square miles (998 acres). Smaller than Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
Yountville features an excellent quality of life, featuring rural charm and residential character. Frequently referred to as "Napa Valley's newest food and wine mecca." due to the world renown chefs and their eateries that have come to Yountville.
The area offers a Mediterranean climate. The valley offers a year round moderate climate with average daytime temperatures in the Summer of 80-90 degrees (F). This generally cools off in the evenings. During the Winter months, the temperature can get as low as 35 degrees and sometimes there is snow in the hiltops.
The town is home to many acclaimed restaurants as Thomas Keller's The French Laundry, Bouchon and the Bouchon Bakery, Etoile - the restaurant inside Domaine Chandon, Napa Valley Grille, Bistro Jeanty, PJ's Steak House, Compadres Bar & Grill, Pacific Blues Cafe', Redd and Hurley's Restaurant & Bar among others. Also in Yountvill is Vintage 1870, a great place to get some lunch and shop and even taste wine.
Yountville wineries are: Cliff Lede Vineyards, Bell Cellars, Domaine Chandon, Goosecrosse Cellars, Mumm Napa Valley, Cosentino Winery, as well as other nestled in the Stags Leap and Yountville appelations.
A Napa Valley Winery is a mega resort (in most cases). If Walt Disney can make a winery, it would be like most Napa Valley wineries. Make no mistake the wines in both regions are excellent, which is why touring in both valleys is an excellent idea. During your wine country tour you will see both Napa and Sonoma wineries up close.
Napa Valley's legendary terroir, which bursts with wildflowers in spring and golden vineyards in autumn. Farming towns boast endless outdoor fun and natural hot springs with alleged curative powers. Napa town - the valley's financial, if not cultural, centre - is a great base for exploring the area's intoxicating attractions.
Many shops in Napa rent bikes if you'd like to pedal between vineyards (no riding under the influence, now!), or you could take a tour on the Napa Valley Wine Train with its vintage Pullman dining cars. The heart of California's 'Wine Country', Napa Valley offers nearly 400 winery opportunities.