An appellation is a specific geographical region used to identify the origin of the grapes utilized in the making of wine. The Napa Valley AVA appellation is host to some of the worlds most outstanding wineries including the winery where Grand Napa Vineyards produces all of its brands.
Napa Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) was established in 1981. The region covers 225,300 acres of land that encompasses almost the entire county of Napa. Some 391 wineries call Napa Valley home, making it the most densely concentrated wine region in the world. The Napa Valley region is located 50 miles north of San Francisco, California and is bounded on both sides by mountains – the Vacas on the east and Mayacamas on the West. The valley’s topography changes dramatically from windswept flats in the north to the confines of mountains in the south. As a result of millions of years of geologic events such as the earth’s shifting crust, volcanic activity, and the deposition of sediment by changing sea levels, the valley has some 30 different soil types.
Optimal Climate Conditions
The growing season in Napa Valley is characterized by warm, dry days and cool evenings, and is influenced by its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Napa Valley’s location makes for a very unique Mediterranean climate. Only 2% of the world has this unique climate. This weather allows grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. Within the appellation, however, there are distinct micro-climates ranging from a moderate climate with cool marine breezes to warmer temperatures with more rainfall.
The combination of these deep, fertile soils and a maritime climate of warm days and cool evenings produce grapes of outstanding intensity, complexity and balance. The art of matching the right grape to the right soil and climate yields diverse wines, each with their own unique characteristics. Because of many microclimates and terrains within the Napa Valley appellation itself, 16 distinct subappellation or AVAs have been granted. Napa Valley is known for producing beautifully crafted wines, especially the world-renowned Cabernet Sauvignon.