Visit Napa Valley
Visit Napa Valley

Napa Valley Appellations

16 Diverse AVAs

The Napa Valley is what is commonly referred to as a wine appellation. In the United States, the legal term is American Viticultural Area, or AVA, and Napa Valley was the first in California, designated in 1981.

Within the Napa Valley AVA, regions have been recognized that possess distinct microclimates and terrain that imprint recognizable characteristics on the grapes grown there.

These AVAs are commonly referred to as sub- or nested-appellations. This diversity means a wide range of wine grapes grow well here, and provides the winemaker a diverse palette from which to create their wine. All to bring consumers an incredible selection of consistent high quality wines from the region.

 

Valley Floor AVAs

Coombsville

Climate:

Cool, with marine wines from the San Pablo Bay as well as the Petaluma Gap to the west, high temperatures rarely exceed 80 degrees

Elevation:

Sea level – 700 feet

Key varieties:

Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay

Oak Knoll

Climate:

Moderate to cool, with marine air and fog often remaining until late morning, afternoon breezes frequently occur, maintaining slightly cooler temperatures than up-valley, summer temperatures may reach 92 degrees

Elevation:

Sea level – 500 feet

Key varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc

Yountville

Climate:

Moderate, with cool marine influence and fog contributing to cool summer mornings, the marine breeze keeps afternoons more comfortable than further up-valley; summer peak temperatures may reach 90 degrees with night time temperatures dropping into the mid-50s

Elevation:

20 – 200 feet

Key varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

Stags Leap

Climate:

Moderately warm with afternoon marine winds cooling the warmer air radiating off the bare rocks of Stags Leap and the surrounding hillsides, summer temperatures can reach 100 degrees, but more regularly are in the mid-90s

Elevation:

Sea level – 500 feet

Key varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc

Oakville

Climate:

Moderately warm, with temperatures commonly in the mid-90s during summer, but affected by night and early morning fog, the east side receives more warm afternoon sun

Elevation:

Sea level – 500 feet

Key varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc

Rutherford

Climate:

Moderately warm, still marginally influenced by early morning fog, the western bench area is cooler, with less late afternoon sun, tempered by afternoon marine winds, usually summer peak temperatures are mid-90s, with a distinct day-to-night temperature fluctuation

Elevation:

Sea level – 600 feet

Key varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel

St. Helena

Climate:

Warm, due to greater protection from western hills, with less fog and wind, the narrowing of the valley floor provides more heat reflection off the hillsides, summer temperatures often peak in the mid-to-high 90s range

Elevation:

100 – 700 feet

Key varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel

Calistoga

Climate:

Daytime summer temperatures may peak above 100 degrees and fall to low 40 degrees at night, due to cool marine air drawn into the valley from the northwestern hills, cool afternoon and evening breezes continue the process, clear nights are assisted by cold air sliding down the mountainsides to the valley floor

Elevation:

300 – 1,200 feet

Key varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah

Mountain AVAs

Mount Veeder

Climate:

Cool to moderate, with most vineyards above the fog line, meaning warmer nights and cooler days than on the valley floor, typical summer highs are 85 degrees

Elevation:

500 – 2,600 feet

Key varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Chardonnay

Spring Mountain

Climate:

Cool weather prevails, with a lower day-tonight fluctuation in temperature

Elevation:

600 – 2,600 feet

Key varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Zinfandel

Diamond Mountain

Climate:

Moderately warm temperatures with less fluctuation than the north Napa Valley floor, temperatures in the summer range from 50 – 90 degrees

Elevation:

400 – 2,200 feet

Key varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc

Atlas Peak

Climate:

Cool-mountain influenced with temperatures about 10-15 degrees cooler than the valley floor in summer, above the fog line, there is low day-to-night temperature range, with summer rarely rising above 90 degrees

Elevation:

760 – 2,600 feet

Key varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay

Howell Mountain

Climate:

Warmer and drier overall due to strong afternoon sun influence

Elevation:

600 – 2,600 feet

Key varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel

Other AVAs

Chiles Valley

Climate:

Temperatures peak in the mid-80s but due to higher elevation and evening fog, drop to below 50 degrees

Elevation:

600 – 1,200 feet

Key varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc

Wild Horse Valley

Climate:

A warmer area well to the east, but still moderate by both altitude and prevailing winds coming off Suisun Bay to the southeast

Elevation:

600 – 1,900 feet

Key varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

Los Carneros (Carneros)

Climate:

Cool, with marine winds from the San Pablo Bay as well as the Petaluma Gap to the west, high temperatures rarely exceed 80 degrees

Elevation:

Sea level – 700 feet

Key varieties:

Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay

 
 
Napa Valley Carneros Coombsville Wild HorseValley Oak Knoll Mt. Veeder Stags Leap Yountville Atlas Peak Oakville Rutherford SpringMountain St. Helena DiamondMountain Calistoga HowellMountain ChilesValley American Canyon Napa Yountville St. Helena Calistoga Oakville Rutherford Lake Berryessa Angwin