Napa Valley in California is well known for producing some of the best premium wines on the market to date. The many Napa Valley vineyards often work together, sourcing grapes from their own vineyards or from outside stock that they judge with a discernment that leaves the lay person in awe. We often forget the hard work and dedication required to select grapes that are perfect for the many vintages we adore, such as the 2013 Dominus, which received some of the highest ratings from critics around the country.
While it may seem to make sense that any large vineyard would make great wine, the size of the vineyard has no relevance in regards to the results. There are smaller vineyards around the world out-producing larger vineyards and receiving better reviews, proving that size doesn’t matter. Quality, however, matters to a very heavy degree.
It is entirely possible for a small, 20-acre vineyard to produce a wine that outweighs those produced by 400+ acre vineyards. It all comes down to the experience of the winemaker, the soil, the standards set in place, and, of course, the resulting flavor, bouquet, and texture of the wine. Aging is a special point as well, as it changes the structure of the wine depending on the type of barrel used, any added ingredients, and time.
Certainly not! There are many wineries that are moving forward with the ages and using very advanced equipment and newer methods for pressing the grapes and fermenting them. New does not mean better, just as old does not mean better. That is not to say that tradition does not have its place in winemaking; it certainly does! However, tradition is not the deciding factor in the resulting wines. Time, practice, proper standards, and a keen understanding of soil, environment, and farming practices are all part of the final product, along with several other factors.
The answer to this question comes down to preference. While one person may prefer wines produced from organically grown grapes, another may not care about this issue at all. While we cannot say there is no difference in taste, we can say we have tasted premium wines from both sides of the fence and loved them equally. Although we certainly won’t say that organically grown grapes should not be supported, because this natural practice leaves less of a footprint on the earth, which promises a better future for farming overall.
The soil is a major factor in this question. Napa Valley offers a range of soils and environments to choose from. This allows the Napa Valley vineyards to adjust their farming practices to suit each varietal they plant. While a Chardonnay vine may do great in the soil at one altitude, it may wither away at another. With a range of soils and heights to choose from, the vineyards are able to hand-pick where each type of vine is planted for the best possible results.
However, the same can be said of states like Washington, where a similar range is seen. Although the soil types and climates differ, they too have a great range of options to choose from. The largest difference between the two is time. Napa Valley has been a popular place for vineyards for a much longer time and thus has gained a bit deeper understanding of their own soil bases and the best practices for those soils.
Chardonnay is one of the leading varietals planted in the Napa Valley region. This, along with the list below, is the most commonly found in Napa Valley vineyards at this time, although other varieties can be planted if tended properly.
Even this small list provides a wide range of opportunities for the vintners of the area, as they are able to produce varietals, ports, and many blends as well. This allows them to produce a great number of premium wines for the public and certainly allows them to gain top listings where wine critics are concerned.
You can easily find wine lists for the region on many sites, however, we suggest checking out each of the Napa Valley vineyards in order to gain a deeper knowledge of where the wine is produced. Knowing the history of the vineyard and its staff is often helpful is understanding the delicate or heavy flavor and texture of each wine. While we could spend all day listing the dozens of vineyards in this region, it is much simpler to direct you to Napa Valley Wineries, where you can find a listing of all of the wineries in the area and check out each one for yourself.
Indeed we will! Come visit us after our opening in West Palm Beach in April of 2017 and try some of the delicious wines we plan to offer on our list. The list will rotate on occasion. We hope to feature some of the best wines in the country from a range of vineyards and we will be posting our official starting line-up of wines soon so be sure to check back with us!