The Neighborhood

this is napa valley

It's even better than you've heard.

How do you sum up life in Napa Valley? We’re not sure you can. If we had to use one word, it might be: enchanting.

The rolling hills and near-perfect year-round weather make it one of the world’s most celebrated travel destinations. It’s as close to an old world European getaway as you’ll get in the states — but with its own California flavor, of course.

You can’t step out of a wine tasting without tripping over an art gallery, music event, or theater production. And though wine is the main attraction, you’ll find breweries and distilleries aplenty, too. Need to clear your head after a day of indulgence? The lush outdoors awaits with hiking, biking, kayaking, and even hot air balloon rides. (Or take it slow with a walking tour if last night’s cabernet was a tad too inviting.)

Of course there are kid-friendly options, and golf courses with championship views. Don’t forget the boutique shopping excursions, if that’s more your sport.

In the end, a quiet walk among the vineyards might be just the thing to make you fall in love with this bit of heaven nestled in the Golden State. 

Glass of wine with a bottle and grapes in the background.

A History of Napa Valley

Wild grapes thrived in Napa Valley long before the first settlers came. The pioneer Charles Krug established the first commercial winery in 1861, and within 25 years, the local winery business exploded.

But this auspicious start ground to a halt at the turn of the 20th Century. First, surplus grapes drove down prices. Then a plague of  phylloxera (insects with a taste for grapes) devastated vintners. Not long after, Prohibition shut down production for an incredible 14 years.

Fast forward to 1976, when local vintners were thriving again. But, more importantly, a blind taste test in Paris pitted Napa Valley wines against the best of Bordeaux and Burgundy. Napa wines walked away with top honors. Today the Valley is home to more than 500 wineries offering vintages revered around the world.

More History
see what's happening

Explore more in Napa Valley.

Live music, farmer’s markets, and winery happy hours to start. There’s always something swirling around Napa Valley. Check out the calendar of upcoming events, but don’t miss annual celebrations like the Lighted Art Festival and the PGA Tour Fortinet Championship.

Learn More