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Wine Spectator School

Class 7: New World Model: California

napa valley: key sub regions
Napa Valley contains a number of key AVAs. All are recognized for their Cabernet Sauvignons.


Along the Valley Floor

Traveling up the middle of the valley on Highway 29, the first three Napa Valley AVAs encountered are Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford.

Many famous wineries such as Beaulieu, Caymus, Mondavi, Niebaum-Coppola and Opus One are located here.

This area is at the southern end of the valley floor and is directly in the path of the chilly breezes coming off the San Pablo Bay.

Just barely warm enough to ripen Cabernet, Yountville is warm enough to yield full-bodied Chardonnays.

Situated immediately north of Yountville, Oakville's vineyards are slightly warmer, and the riper grapes make complex, intensely flavored Cabernets with classic flavors and...

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