Napa Valley’s Rich Wine History

September 5, 2017 3:07 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Napa Valley, known as one of the United States’ foremost wine countries for its many beautiful wineries and excellent wines that originate here, is steeped in a rich history. As a local agency specializing in winery appraisals in Napa County, CA, we’re proud of the history of Napa Valley, especially from the perspective of its wine.

Napa Valley’s wine history began before California was even a state. Only two percent of the entire globe is considered to have a Mediterranean climate, known for being excellent for high-end grape production, and what is now known as Napa Valley happens to fall into that two percent. Wild grapes grew abundantly on their own in Napa Valley long before they were planted and cultivated for the making of wine, but it took the right person to see the potential.

George Calvert Yount, a young settler to Napa Valley, saw the area’s potential for grape cultivation and was the first to plant a vineyard in Napa Valley in 1839. Today, Yount is considered the pioneer of grape cultivation in the area. In fact, you may recognize the name if you’ve ever heard of the town Yountville. Named after the young settler, Yountville is now a center for culinary artists, fine foods and several famous vineyards.

Although Yount carries the title for having planted Napa Valley’s first vineyard, the title for the first winery goes to John Patchett. Patchett began cultivating grapes in 1854 and started producing his own wine three years later. Although Patchett’s was a fairly small operation compared to his successors’, the wine was the first wine from California to receive a published review.

While Yount and Patchett are credited as the forefathers of Napa Valley’s rich wine history, Charles Krug is considered the man who put Napa Valley in the spotlight of the wine world. Charles Krug was actually a winemaker for John Patchett during the early years. However, in 1861, Krug started his own winery. Krug’s winery was the first commercial winery in Napa Valley, and it was Krug’s success and leadership that started a wave of new wineries in Napa Valley. In fact, by 1889 there were over 140 wineries in operation across the valley.

Although the wine industry in Napa Valley has seen several challenges over the years, it has never lost its reputation as a source for excellent wines. Today, Napa Valley is home to over 400 wineries, including some of the most popular names in the business, from the family-owned Sattui Winery to the awe-inspiring Darioush Winery.

As a local agency specializing in winery appraisals in Napa County, CA, we’re proud of the small part we get to play in the life of these history-rich properties. If you own a winery or vineyard or are looking to own real estate in Napa Valley, we’d love to talk to you. Winery appraisals are essential to the buying and selling process here in Napa. If you’d like to learn more about our services and our unique areas of expertise, contact County Appraisals Inc. today.

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