A quick guide to Napa wineries
The Napa Valley in California has long been synonymous with quality wine. Its warm Mediterranean climate, shielded by the surrounding mountains from the extremes of heat and cold, render it one of the best places in the world to grow wine grapes. Its intricate topography offers a wide range of potential growing areas to choose between, from fields of rich volcanic soil to rugged mountainsides, each imparting a different set of qualities to the terroir of the grapes.
The first grapes in the valley were Mission grapes, planted by missionaries to grow wine for Communion. The first American settler in the area, George Calvert Yount, planted grapes there in 1831. Another pioneer, Charles Krug, opened a commercial winery in the area in 1861 in what is now the St. Helena American Viticultural Area.
The worst disaster ever to hit Napa wineries was, of course, Prohibition. The vineyards that survived did so by an ingenious marketing ploy. They would sell bricks of grape juice concentrate, intended to be dissolved in a gallon of water. These bricks would include strict instructions not under any circumstances to leave the jug of juice sitting in a cool cupboard for 21 days, or else it would turn to wine, which would be illegal if taken out of the home. In some cases, this warning went so far as to specify what sort of wine the juice would turn into. As you can imagine, consumers were grateful for this advisory.
Which are the best wineries in Napa depends on what you’re looking for in a wine. As mentioned earlier, there are many kinds of terrain and soil in the valley, along with little microclimates with different average temperatures and levels of rainfall. That’s why there are 16 AVAs within the Napa Valley American Viticultural Area. Deep, rich, almost jammy red wines with firm tannins and distinct acidity come from the St. Helena area.
One of the best Napa wineries around
Some of the best California wines come from Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley. Just a 10-minute drive from downtown St. Helena, Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards produces world-class wines at affordable prices. The vineyard is a 40-acre estate just south of Howell Mountain. Instead of a busy tasting room, the vineyard offers you the chance to meet the owners and wine-makers and taste excellent wine stored in a cave.
Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards has been owned and operated by the Anderson family since 1983. Anderson’s wines are sold online and in five locations in Napa Valley, and many other locations nationwide. By ordering six bottles or more per year, you can join their wine club, giving you discounts on many of their finest wines.