Yountville has a long history of grape growing and has a diversity of varieties not often seen in other parts of the valley.
Yountville AVA Wines to Know
Yountville is the town where grapes were first planted in Napa Valley. George Calvert Yount first planted vineyards here in 1836.
Unlike its nextdoor neighbor to the north, Oakville, it’s not just about Cabernet here. Many grape varieties grow in Yountville including Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, and even some Pinot Noir.
The range of microclimates, from quite warm in the north to cooler in the south as it edges closer to San Pablo Bay, means a lot of diversity of produced wine styles.
Many of the Cabernet Sauvignon wines are quite vibrant and fresh because of the cooling influence of the bay. Think fresher fruit flavors and floral notes.
Notable Vineyards (and Wineries) in Yountville AVA
Grgich Hills Estate - Mike Grgich crafted the Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena that won The Judgement of Paris in 1976, and set up his own winery with Austin Hills in Yountville in 1977.
Domaine Chandon - a Sparkling wine house founded by Moët et Chandon champagne house in 1973.
Dominus Estate - Owned by the same family who owns Petrus in Bordeaux, Christian Moueix, and creates wines from the famous Napanook vineyard.
Silverado Vineyards - Family owned for 4 generations, producing Cabernet, but also Pinot and Sangiovese.
Yountville AVA Terroir
Diversity is the name of the game in Yountville as there’s a significant influence from the bay in the south, bringing in fog and cooling breezes, meaning that grape varieties like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir can be planted. To the north, it’s warmer and Cabernet Sauvignon can thrive too.
This is matched with the diversity of soils from gravel and alluvial clays which bring elegance to the wines and clay and loam deposits which can give spice and weight to the wines.
Yountville AVA Facts
- Yountville AVA is principally gravelly silt loams, sedimentary in origin, and gravelly alluvial soils with rock.
- Yountville has a total area of 8,000 acres, with just under 4,000 acres of planted vineyards.
- Yountville AVA was established in 1999.
- Yountville is one of the coolest regions in Napa, contributing to a long growing season.
- There are 100 separate wine growers in the AVA.