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Wine Spectator School

Class 7: New World Model: California

napa valley

Napa Valley is California's most famous and most developed AVA. Emerald green vineyards are interrupted only by wineries and quaint towns.

Wine and wine tourism drive the economy in the valley, which is located an hour’s drive north-northeast of San Francisco.


Climate and Geography

Perfect for growing high-quality grapes, the climate is influenced by Napa Valley’s shape and location.

A Perfect Funnel
Napa Valley is shaped like an upside-down funnel, wide at the bottom and narrow at the top.

About 35 miles long and one to five miles wide, the tall, narrow valley is wedged between two mountain ranges.

The lush, green Mayacamas, which catch the coastal rainfall, form the western border. The Vaca Mountains rise arid and...

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