About fifty years ago, hardly anyone recognized the name Napa Valley in world wine circles. All that has changed now; the world now potentially looks at any Napa winery as one of the top wineries in the world, and the Napa Valley Vintners as leaders in the world wine community.
Napa Valley – A History
Napa Valley’s history is dotted with many highs and lows prior to its present day recognition of being a first ranking wine region.
The birth of Napa Wineries: The valley’s promise as a potential wine-growing area didn’t come about till George Calvert Yount, an early settler, planted the first vineyards in the valley. He was quickly followed by people who planted and promoted commercial vineyards, and experimented with more than 400 grape varieties.
The crippling economical lows in the early 1900s: During the early 1900s, wine prices went down owing to sudden and rapid expansion of wine production. Added to this, a phylloxera infestation dealt vintners a stunning blow. This was quickly followed by the enactment of Prohibition in 1920, which crippled Napa Valley’s wine business. During the next 14 years only a handful of wineries continued to operate by producing sacramental wines. The Prohibition was in effect till 1933; once it was repealed, Napa Valley’s wine industry reared its proud head again. A period of recovery ensued, followed by tremendous expansion and, finally, in recent years, refinement and supremacy.
The formation of Napa Valley Vintners: A group of vintners came together in 1944 to share their grape growing and winemaking stories; later on this group found the Napa Valley Vintners, a trade organization dedicated to promoting and advancing Napa wineries both in the US and abroad.
Present day Napa Valley wineries: Today, Napa Valley is home to approximately 400 wineries and numerous wine brands. Napa Valley’s reputation as a producer of world-class wines was reinforced when it was chosen as the home of the Festival del Sole, an annual food, wine, art, and music festival.
The Napa Valley Vintners initiated hospitality and marketing activities that brought home worldwide attention to this unique small valley. Napa Valley regularly organizes wine-tasting tours to the general public as part of their continued effort towards hospitable marketing.
Why Napa Wineries Are Among The Best In the World!
The 1976 Paris Wine Tasting competition (better known by some as the Judgment of Paris) was organized by Steven Spurrier, a British wine merchant. French judges blind tasted different top-quality chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon wines from France and from California. None of the judges were aware of the identity or make of the wine they tasted. Of the wines that were tasted that day, California wines were rated best in each category. This caused considerable incredulity among the French, who have generally been regarded as being the foremost producer of the world’s best wines. Apparently, Spurrier sold only French wines and firmly believed that California wines would not win in the competition.
This proves beyond debate that the superior Napa wineries win hands down over any other wine producing region’s products and that’s why any Napa winery could potentially be the best!