What Napa Valley wine facts you should know
Before you head out on your Napa Valley wine country vacation here are some helpful Napa Valley facts. Be sure to watch the short Napa Valley Travel Tip movie at the bottom of this article. It’s extremely informative for the first time visitor.
- There are more than 400 wineries in the Napa Valley.
- 95% of these wineries are “family owned.” Many of these are owned by huge companies. For example, the Gallo Family owns the Louis Martini winery. They purchased it from the Louis M. Martini Family in 2002.
- Each year 5 million visitors flock to the Napa Valley. They spend 1.4 billion dollars.
- In the Napa Valley AVA (wine appellation) there are 16 sub appellations or AVA’s, such as Rutherford AVA, Howell Mountain AVA and the Spring Mountain AVA.
- The Napa Valley spans 30 miles. The Valley runs from the towns of Napa in the south to Calistoga in the north. The Valley is five miles wide at the Napa end and only one mile wide at the Calistoga end.
- The Napa Valley is bound by two mountain ranges. To the east are the Vaca Mountains and to the west are the Mayacamas Mountains.
- The most notable grape in the Napa Valley is Cabernet Sauvignon. Many other varietals of wine are produced in the Valley but Cabernet is king.
- There are four major towns in the Napa Valley that have accommodations, restaurants, and shopping. These are Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga. See best lodging in the Napa Valley.
- Most wineries in the Napa Valley have regular tasting room hours. However, wineries that have opened recently can be visited by appointment only. Some wineries follow this regulation very loosely. I have walked into wineries that say “by appointment only” and have been very welcomed. It is best to call ahead to reserve a time for tasting.
- 99% of the wineries in the Napa Valley charge a tasting fee. That can range from $5 for a simple tasting to $125 for a wine and food pairing or a reserve tasting.
- Most wineries open their tasting rooms between 10 and 11 am. and close between 4 and 5 pm.
- What is the best month to travel to the Napa Valley? Check this page.
Napa Valley Wine Facts – Travel Tips