This giclee print by artist kerne Erickson depicts Napa Valley from a hot air balloon. Napa Valley AVA is American Viticultural Area established in 1981 and is located in the much larger North Coast AVA in Napa County north of San Francisco. Napa Valley is considered one of the premier wine regions in the world.
John Patchett established the Napa Valley's first commercial vineyard in 1858. In 1861 Charles Krug established another of Napa Valley's first commercial wineries in St. Helena. Viticulture in Napa suffered several setbacks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including an outbreak of the vine disease phylloxera, the institution of Prohibition, and the Great Depression. The wine industry in Napa Valley recovered, and helped by the results of the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, came to be seen as capable of producing the best quality wine – equal to that of Old World wine regions. Napa Valley is now a major enotourism destination.
The valley floor is flanked by the Mayacamas Mountain Range on the western and northern sides the Vaca Mountains on the eastern side. Several smaller valleys exist within these two ranges. The floor of the main valley gradually rises from sea level at the southern end to 362 feet above sea level at the northern end in Calistoga at the foot of Mount Saint Helena. The Oakville and Rutherford American Viticultural Areas lie within a geographical area known as the Rutherford Bench in the center of the valley floor. The soil in the southern end of the valley consists mainly of sediments deposited by earlier advances and retreats of San Pablo Bay while the soil at the northern end of the valley contains a large volume of volcanic lava and ash. Several of the small hills that emerge from the middle of the valley floor near Yountville are indicators of the region's volcanic past.
Several mesoclimates exist within the area due to various weather and geographical influences. The open southern end of the valley floor is cooler during the growing season due to the proximity of San Pablo Bay while the sheltered, closed northern end is often much warmer. The eastern side of the valley tends to be more arid because winter storms tend to drop much more precipitation on the western mountains and hills.
Early pioneer and settler George C. Yount is generally credited to have been the first to grow grapes in the Napa Valley. In 1864, on the marriage of one of his granddaughters to Thomas Rutherford, Yount gave the couple around 1,000 acres of land, which Rutherford dedicated to winemaking. Commercial production started in 1858, with John Patchett selling wine for $2 per gallon. His wine cellar, built in 1859, narrowly predates that established in 1861 in St. Helena by Charles Krug, although this is commonly cited as the Napa Valley's first winery. Captain Gustave Niebaum established Inglenook Winery in 1879 near the village of Rutherford. This was the first Bordeaux style winery in the USA. Inglenook wines won gold medals at the 1889 World's Fair in Paris.
In 1868 H. W. Crabb bought land near Oakville close to the Napa River. Crabb established a vineyard and winery named To Kalon, and by 1877 had planted 130 acres and was producing 50,000 US gallons of wine per year. Crabb experimented with over 400 grape varieties to find the types best suited for the area.
By the end of the nineteenth century there were more than one hundred and forty wineries in the area. Of those original wineries, several still exist in the valley today including Beaulieu, Beringer, Charles Krug, Chateau Montelena, Far Niente, Mayacamas, Markham Vineyards, and Schramsberg Vineyards. Today within the Napa Valley AVA there are 16 sub AVAs with over 400 wineries. *source Wikipedia.
*Please note: The paper print dimensions include a .25" border on all 4 sides within the final size of the print. The canvas prints have an additional 1.875" canvas border on all 4 sides for stretching. The watermark on the thumbnail will not be on the final print.
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