Notorious Napa Valley

Ahhhh, Napa Valley. 

We all know about Napa Valley…or at least, we think we do. But how much do you know about it beyond the big, bold, Cabs, or the creamy, buttery Chardonnays? What about the immigrants that started growing grapes and producing the award-winning wine? Or even what wines helped Napa gain modern notoriety with their wins during the famed Judgement of Paris tasting in 1976?

Who first planted vines in Napa Valley? George Yount
George Yount brought the first grape plantings to Napa Valley in 1839, they were planted in what is current day Yountville AVA.

In 1861 Charles Krug established the first winery in Napa Valley. True

Pre- Prohibition, Napa Valley had how many wineries? 140
Pre-Prohibition there were over 400 wineries operating in Napa Valley. Prohibition decimated the area, and less than 40 were legally operating (however, over 100 ghost wineries existed for years to follow, some eventually being restored).

Who was the Frenchman responsible for establishing Beaulieu Vineyards and bringing Andre Tchelistcheff to Napa Valley? Georges de Latour
Georges de Latour came to Los Angeles, California in 1883. In 1890, he moved to Napa and bought 4 acres of land, establishing Beaulieu Vineyards.  It wasn’t until 1938 that he brought Andre Tchelistcheff from France to be the winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyards.

Which of the following is accredited to Andre Tchelistcheff? Most influential winemaker post Prohibition; winemaking improvements such as cold fermentation, malolactic fermentation, and French barrels; vineyard protection such as wind machines for frost protection; defined California wine styles, mainly Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley Vintners was established by 7 wineries working together for the good of the valley.  It would later act as a model for many other associations, including our Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association.  What year was it established? 1944
Napa Valley Vintners was formed by Fernande de Latour – Beaulieu Vineyard, Elmer Salmina – Larkmead, Charles Forni –  Napa Valley Co-op, Robert Mondavi – CK Mondavi and Sons, John Daniel Jr. – Inglenook, Louis M. Martini, and Louis Stralla (formerly Cornero from Piedmont) – Napa Wine Company

The Mondavi family bought which prominent winery in 1943? Charles Krug
The Mondavi father and his two sons bought Charles Krug in 1943.  In 1965 Robert Mondavi left Krug after a feud with his brother, Peter.

When was the Robert Mondavi Winery established? 1966
Robert Mondavi, along with two of his children opened the Robert Mondavi Winery in 1966 in Napa Valley, and it quickly became a prominent name in the wine industry.

What was California’s first AVA in 1981? Napa Valley AVA
Napa Valley was California’s first AVA established in 1981.  Napa Valley’s most recent sub-AVA is Coombsville AVA, established in 2011.

How many AVA’s does Napa Valley have total? 16

Napa Valley is native to the Wappo Indians and means ‘plenty.’ True

In 1989, which winery was the first in the valley to sell wine for $100? Diamond Creek

To this day, most Napa Valley AVA wine is sourced from Livermore, the Central Coast or the Central Valley. False
Before the AVA system was established, much of Napa sourced wine from Livermore, the Central Coast, and the Central Valley to round out and stabilize production. However now, any wine labeled as “Napa Valley” must contain 85% of its juice from Napa Valley.

What are the geographical indicators to the West and East of Napa Valley? Mayacamus Mountains and Vaca Mountains

Twenty years ago, an acre of land in Napa Valley cost $1,000. How much is an acre of land in Napa Valley today? $100,000

What is the most widely planted grape in Napa Valley? Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley makes 184k+ tons of wine per year.  That is roughly the equivalent to what? 45 Olympic size swimming pools

Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are related. False
Though both are incredibly popular and prominent, they are not genetically related. 

Which AVA is not completely within Napa County political boundaries? Los Carneros AVA
Los Carneros is partly in the Napa County political boundaries, but also lies outside of County lines. 

Heidi Peterson Barrett is known for many wine achievements, including getting 5 100-point scores from Robert Parker. What else is she known for? Producing the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold ($500,000)
Heidi Peterson Barrett is an amazing and progressive woman in wine. She has created many cult wines and receives much acclaim from critics around the world. The $500k bottle was a large format – 6L bottle (known as a Methusala) of 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, but sold at auction in 2000. 

Who is the vineyard manager for Monte Rosso Vineyard in Sonoma County? Brenae Royal
The Monte Rosso Vineyard is on the top of the Mayacamas Mountain Range in the Moon Mountain AVA of Sonoma County. The property is owned by Louis M Martini.

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