Napa Valley Wine District
This district, in California, is the most northerly part of what is certainly the most important region for U.S. Winemaking. Some of the finest wines come from the Napa Valley: many of them are the equal of any that Europe can show, although of course supplies of top wines are inevitably limited and local demand for the best wines makes it difficult for wine lovers in other countries to sample the outstanding California wines.The countryside is varied. Micro-climates mean that, within a comparatively small area, one winery can make a great range of different wines – dessert and aperitif as well as table wines. This also means that some vines, which require a cool climate, can be cultivated on the slopes of the mountains; others, needing more heat, can thrive in warmer, flatter areas. The achievements of the wineries, large and small, is remarkable when it is remembered that, by Old World notions, they are recently established.
Among the best-known producers is Schramsberg, famous for its sparkling wines, which can be called ‘Champagne’ in the U.S. They are, in fact, made by the Champagne method, being outstanding in quality. Hans Kornell make quality sparkling and table wines. Stony Hill, Cuvaison, Freemark Abbey, Spring Mountain, Beringer, Sutter Home, Souverain, Chateau Montelena, Caymus, La Perla, Yverdon, Chateau Chevalier, Lyncrest, Burgess, Diamond Creek, Oakville, Sterling, Stonegate, Stone Bridge, Franciscan Vineyards, Mayacamus, Chappelet, Conradi Vineyard, Carneros Creek, Silveroak and Clos du Val are only some of the many medium-sized and smallish wineries and vineyard organisations now attracting attention. Names likely to be known on export markets and belonging to highly important establishments, include: Beaulieu, Christian Brothers (who own five wineries, three in the Napa Valley), Charles Krug (no link with the Champagne firm), Robert Mondavi, Louis M. Martini, Inglenook and Heitz, also Sonoma, Santa Clara.