Things to Do In Napa Valley
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Napa Valley Travel Guide
Napa Valley Is Known for...
Five of Napa Valley's most unique features and characteristics.Wine
It's no secret that Napa is the center of wine production in the United States. With plenty of daytime sunshine and cool nights, it's the perfect terroir for growing perfectly quaffable wines. With over six-hundred wineries and vineyards in Napa Valley (and that doesn't even include any in neighboring Sonoma!) they run the spectrum from small and family-owned (like Neyers Winery) to massive (think Mondavi). Unlike some of the older wine-making regions in France and Italy, Napa has nearly every kind of varietal, making it the perfect place to taste and learn.Michelin Stars
The same climate that allows Napa to grow excellent grapes makes it possible for the region to grow nearly anything, all year round. This good fortune has drawn many notable chefs to the valley (along with the Culinary Institute of America) to make it one of the best places in the world to eat, period. Two restaurants, Thomas Keller's The French Laundry and the restaurant at Meadowood have both been awarded three Michelin stars, while eight other restaurants in Napa have one star. Whether you prefer to call it 'farm to table,' or 'field to fork,' the great ingredients mean that even the simplest food is top notch.Outdoors
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About Napa Valley
The story of the Wine Country can be traced to the mid-19th century, when the grandfather of California viticulture, Hungarian-born Agoston Haraszathy de Mokcsa, concluded that his 500-plus-acre Buena Vista estate in modern Sonoma County could produce winemaking grapes to rival those of Europe. Indeed, in addition to a Mediterranean climate of moderate temperatures and ample year-round rainfall, this part of Northern California boasts a landscape where two verdant valleys are cleft by rolling mountains. The result is an environment not unlike that of Tuscany – and one that yields excellent pinot noir, chardonnay, merlot, and sauvignon blanc, not to mention terrific olives. Napa Valley, to the east, offers 200-plus commercial vineyards, most of which were founded after 1975. It extends from the San Pablo Bay's fertile Carneros region northward to Calistoga; its inviting hamlets and villages offer fine dining, shopping, and sightseeing opportunities.