This is the first installment in a series of blogs that will examine the different AVAs of Napa Valley and what makes them special. We'll highlight one famous winery and one hidden gem in each region.
An American Viticulture Area (AVA) is a designated grape growing region that has specific and identifiable characteristics as defined by geography, history, and climate. The variances between AVAs lead to significantly different flavors in grapes and wine and the exact spot where the grapes are grown plays a significant role in what you like and don’t. We decided to feature Calistoga first as it’s the most recent region to be granted a separate AVA status in Napa Valley (although Coombsville is well on it’s way)
With hundreds of wineries to choose from and experiences that range from hoity-toity tastings to off-road excursions, it's tough to give Napa fist-timers a balanced sampling of the valley. That said, here are six wineries that will give you a nice blend of the best the area has to offer in a weekend:
Chateau Montelena helped put Napa on the map back in 70s. And this June 25th, they're throwing what's being billed as the Valley's party of the summer with Franc & Blanc, a chance to indulge in the Chateaus's delicious wines (made famous by the movie Bottle Shock). Come up to mingle with winemakers Bo Barrett (played by Chris Pine in the film), Cam Parry and Matt Crafton for an up-close and personal glimpse at the way a hot-ticket vineyard like this one operates.
And there's a lot more to do that just drink wine. Look forward to tons of music, food, a photo booth, wine classes, barrel tastings, games and prizes.