This final part of a three-part series dedicated to the 16 sub-appellations of Napa Valley shares more of the characteristics of each AVA that make Napa Valley the diverse, outstanding, world-renowned resource for stellar American wines.
Atlas Peak District
The highest point of the peak itself sits 2,663 feet above sea level. The majority of vineyards grow on hillsides and the grapes grown in Atlas Peak find their way to wineries throughout Napa Valley. Most well-known for exquisite Cabernet Sauvignon, visitors to the Atlas Peak AVA can also find many other wines including Malbec, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Most wineries are open by appointment and some are not open to the public. Antica Napa Valley offers a tour and sit-down tasting of wines only available for purchase at the winery.
Steep slopes and rugged conditions rule in this AVA where 85% of the land is covered in dense forest. The terrain demands that the majority of the work in the vineyards be performed by hand. With the longest growing season and lowest yields, the Cabernet Sauvignon from this sub-appellation is distinctly delicious. Other wines to be found in this district include Chardonnay and Syrah. Visit the Hess Collection for tastings in their Visitor Center and to explore their Art Museum.
This historical district consists of wineries that have received international acclaim for a diverse collection of wines such as Merlot Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Oak Knoll wineries also produce Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Visitors to Trefethen Family Vineyards sip their critcally acclaimed wines in their historic building. Black Stallion Winery is located on a historic equestrian center. Robert Biale Vineyards offers tastings of their acclaimed Zinfandel and Petite Sirah.
Coombsville became the 16th AVA in 2011. Located only 10 minutes from downtown Napa, the small, family-owned wineries in this sub-appellation are open by appointment only. Blue Oak Vineyard offers a tasting that includes their Blue Oak Merlot described by the Chicago Tribune as “perhaps California’s best Merlot.” The sustainably farmed Farella Vineyard offers an experience hosted by the winemaker.
Wild Horse Valley District
History says that in the 19th century wild horses roamed this windy district. Today, the only winery located in this AVA is Olivia Brion Pinot Noir & Chardonnay. The winery and vineyard operations are solar powered and the winery is named after suffragette, Olivia Brion.
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sparkling wines dominate the Los Carneros AVA. Artesa Vineyards & Winery produces impressive wines and views. Domaine Carneros offers a seated tasting with one of many delicious options for food pairings. Talisman Wines produces phenomenal Pinot Noir.
This concludes our series on the sub-appellations of Napa Valley.