If you’re planning to visit a Yountville winery, you will have a greater appreciation of the wines you taste once you know a little bit about the historic Yountville AVA. This region is home to some of the best Napa Valley wineries, thanks to a climate that sets it apart from the rest.
A History of Yountville
Yountville AVA was named after the American pioneer, trapper, and frontiersman who was the first person to plant grapevines in the area in 1836, George C. Yount. After he died the town was named Yountville as a tribute to Yount, who made traditional wines by stomping grapes and fermenting the must in oxtail skins.
In the 1890s, a devastating vine disease called phylloxera hit Yountville, and winemaking ground to a halt. Then, in the early 1920s, Prohibition delayed recovery for local winemakers.
But today, there are over 100 winegrowers and some of the best Napa Valley wineries in Yountville. And in 1999, the area was awarded its own AVA (American Viticultural Area).
The Climate of Yountville AVA
Yountville is located south of Oakville and is home to many microclimates. The grapevines here benefit greatly from the nearby San Pablo Bay, from which strong breezes keep the grapes cool as they ripen all summer long.
Big temperature swings at night allow the grapes plenty of time to develop bold flavors during the day and retain fresh acidity at night.
In the mornings, fog and cooling influence from the bay allow the grapes to stay cool while the sun shines. This gives the wines of this area fresh fruit aromas and a lighter weight.
The Wines of Yountville AVA
The moderate, marine-influenced climate here allows for a fresher style than neighboring regions. Classic grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc create powerful, expressive wines thanks to the abundance of sunshine.
Many Yountville winemakers also experiment with grapes less traditional to the area like aromatic Gewurztraminer and fruity Pinot Noir.
The Yountville Winery Experience
Yountville wineries make different, distinctive wines—unlike any other region in the Napa Valley. Tasting a Yountville wine is to experience what a cooling influence has on a warm, sunny climate: balance, complexity, and finesse.
The area is home to many small production wineries that have made international names for themselves. The future looks bright for Yountville AVA.