06 Jul Napa Valley – California’s Famous Wine Producing Region
Visiting wineries in Napa Valley sounds like a fantastic idea to anyone that loves wine so, needless to say, taking a tour around the region can be likened to a dream come true for many wine enthusiasts. The atmosphere and warm weather in the valley make it a perfect location for a vacation, especially if you are partial to the odd drop of vino!
Where is Napa Valley?
For those who don’t know, Napa Valley is located in Northern California, just inland from the North-Eastern corner of San Francisco Bay.
Napa Valley and Wine
There is no doubt that the region’s soil combined with the warm year round climate culminate in making the valley one of the best regions in the world for the cultivation of wine grapes. These attributes have earned the Napa Valley a reputation as one of the best wine producing regions in the United States.
There is a wide array of different wines produced in the region by various different wineries such as Chandon, Caymus and Frank Family, to name but a few.
Napa Valley Tourism
Napa Valley is a very popular holiday destination, in fact millions of tourists come to the valley every year often visiting one winery after another, following the famous Napa Valley wine trail. Without mincing words, Napa Valley has, over the years, evolved into one of the most significant tourist destinations in the state of California.
A visit to the Napa Valley provides a rare opportunity to not only enjoy travelling through and stopping in one of the most beautiful parts of the world but to also experience mouth-watering treats which include various culinary pleasures, and should you be a budding wine maker yourself, a visit to Napa Valley will undoubtedly provide you with plenty of inspiration to take back home with you, refreshed and invigorated.
A Brief History of Napa Valley
Napa Valley has always been a strong region, ever since the early days of wine production in the 1890’s. However, there have inevitably been times when the continued existence of wine production in the region came into question.
The first real danger to the valley’s wine industry was Prohibition in 1920 which, as it happens, also coincided with an attack by a root louse known as phylloxera which destroyed many of the regions finest vineyards resulting in the subsequent closure of a number of wineries. After a couple of decades and the end of the Second World War, most, if not all of the wineries that had closed previously, reopened and the region’s fine wines started to regain their popularity.
Over the following years Napa’s wines continued to improve and this improvement was rewarded by the announcement of the Paris Wine Tasting results in 1976 which confirmed that the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines of Napa Valley origin were better than many of the equivalent wines produced in France.
This announcement obviously increased the demand for Napa Valley wines and also attracted the attention of wine enthusiasts and wine lovers from all parts of the world. Since then, the wines produced in the Napa Valley have continued to improve and the region now plays host to some the best wineries in the world.
Visiting Napa Valley
If your idea of heaven is visiting wineries and tasting their wines from first light until you retire exhausted at the end of the day, the Napa Valley will provide you with the opportunity to do just that.
As well as tasting many of the fine wines the region has to offer you will also see first-hand what it takes to produce them, from grape selection and soil management to bottling and storing, each and every step of which is vital in order to produce the finest quality wines.
There is a good chance that you will also enjoy a considerable discount on many of the fine wines you will taste at more than a few of the wineries you visit, so make sure you have plenty of space in your car.
First time visitors to Napa Valley often expect the region to be a lot bigger than it actually is, especially when you consider the number of wineries located there, but it’s not about how quickly you can drive through the valley, it’s the number of stops you make that really matters!
The fact that you are visiting a relatively small area means finding your way around is pretty uncomplicated and Highway 29 provides the main access to a lot of the big wineries, hotels, shops and restaurants.