Though just 30 miles long and a few miles wide, Napa Valley is home to diverse microclimates and soils uniquely suited to the cultivation of a variety of fine wine grapes. Among the internationally acclaimed wines produced in this small region are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc.
As the first Agricultural Preserve in America, it’s also a region of incomparable natural beauty and winegrowing heritage being preserved for future generations through environmental leadership and community stewardship. Though just 4% of California’s wine grape harvest, Napa Valley is small in size yet big in stature. It was the first American Viticultural Area or AVA to be designated in California in 1981.
Only 2% of the world enjoys a dry Mediterranean climate. In Napa Valley this generous climate provides vintage-to-vintage consistency and exceptional quality that few other winegrowing regions can boast. Because of its unique geologic history, Napa Valley has a remarkable diversity of microclimates, weather and geography, as well as some of the most diverse soils found on earth. As a result, an array of premium wine grapes thrives here.
In spite of its international renown, Napa Valley is one of the smallest winegrowing regions in the world, with only one-eighth the planted acreage of Bordeaux. Nearly all wineries (95%) are family owned businesses. The region’s established viticultural practices result in low yields of high-quality grapes, from which skilled winemakers craft Napa Valley’s renowned wines.
Long before green and sustainable were buzzwords, Napa Valley became the home of the first Agricultural Preserve in the U.S. in 1968 and today has the most comprehensive and stringent land use and environmental regulations of any winegrowing region. To ensure quality of life for all of the community, the Napa Valley Vintners has invested more than $145 million to local health, youth and housing non-profits through its annual fundraiser, Auction Napa Valley.
The Napa Valley Rocks: Overview video provides a snapshot of the Napa Valley appellation and wine industry. Learn what makes Napa Valley unique in the world of wine and get a preview of the Napa Valley Rocks video series.