Napa Valley’s main street
St. Helena is proud to call itself “Napa Valley’s main street.” This small town has always been known for its St. Helena wineries, and today is one of the centers of the wine industry. Whole winery tours are devoted to this town and its more than 80 wineries. Its popularity as a wine center has given rise to bed and breakfasts, theaters and a restaurant so popular that reservations have to be made 60 days in advance.
If you’re planning to visit St. Helena (and why not?) find a hotel, and be prepared to spend several days there. Look for Yelp reviews of the town’s St. Helena wineries and schedule tours of the best. Look for places with at least 20 reviews and at least four stars. There’s no reason to confine yourself to the town limits — get out into the Napa Valley countryside and explore the little hills and subvalleys that influence the wind and clouds in subtle ways, forming the multitude of microclimates for which this part of California is famous. A great deal can be found within a five to ten mile radius of the town.
In 1981, the Napa Valley was named California’s first American Viticulture Area. These days 16 different AVAs are recognized within the valley. The St. Helena AVA is at the northern end of the valley floor, where it gets less cool air and ocean fog than the southern parts of the valley. Its soil ranges from gravel-clay soils on its southern and western borders to rich volcanic soils in the north and east. Deep, ripe Cabernet Sauvignons, Cabernet Francs and Merlots with jammy flavors and blackcurrant aromas all come from St. Helena wineries.
A winery near St. Helena
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. The microclimate of Conn Valley is cooler than many other parts of the valley, although warmer than Howell Mountain itself, so the grapes they grow are closer to mountain grapes than the grapes in the St. Helena AVA proper. At the vineyard, you have 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. This will get you a discount on many of their finest wines. Try a bottle today.