napa valley wine tasting

How Many Napa Wine Regions Are There?

Only a few miles east of Sonoma County lies Napa Valley. Napa Valley contains 16 distinct Napa wine regions, American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), plus the overarching Napa Valley AVA that encompasses the entire region. These AVAs divide Napa’s diverse mesoclimates, soils, elevations, and microclimates into more specific sub-regions that reflect each area’s unique terroir and winegrowing conditions. The AVAs range from well-known regions like Stags Leap District and Rutherford to tiny, obscure appellations like Wild Horse Valley. Each AVA produces wines that express the distinctive characteristics imparted by that site.

Calistoga AVA

  • Northernmost AVA, experiencing hot days up to 100°F.
  • Sandstone soils in valley floor volcanic soils in foothills.
  • Known for Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.

St. Helena AVA

  • Located in the narrowest part of Napa Valley.
  • Alluvial soils on the valley floor.

Rutherford AVA

  • One of Napa’s most famous subregions.
  • Gravelly alluvial soils.
  • Known for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Oakville AVA

  • Another of Napa’s famous subregions.
  • Deep fertile soils, plus fractured bedrock.
  • Also known for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Yountville AVA

  • Moderate marine influence provides long, even growing seasons.
  • Grows both red and white varieties.

Stags Leap District AVA

  • “A valley within a valley” between two rocky palisades.
  • It also focused on Cabernet Sauvignon.

Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley AVA

  • Cooler temperatures from afternoon breezes and morning fog.

Coombsville AVA

  • The newest addition to Napa Valley AVAs was approved in 2011.
  • It is located in the hills east of Napa City.

Los Carneros AVA

  • The coolest climate Napa AVA, influenced by San Pablo Bay.
  • Known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Wild Horse Valley AVA

  • Small AVA on the southwest valley edges.
  • Cool climate due to San Pablo Bay’s influence.

Mt. Veeder AVA

  • Higher elevation area in the Mayacamas Mountains.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon specialty.

Spring Mountain District AVA

  • It is also located in the Mayacamas Mountains.
  • High elevation, exposed to afternoon sun.

Diamond Mountain District AVA

  • Northernmost Mayacamas Mountains AVA.

Howell Mountain AVA

  • Higher elevations northeast of St. Helena.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon focused.

Atlas Peak AVA

  • Higher elevations east of Stags Leap District.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon focused.

Chiles Valley AVA

  • Intermountain Valley is farthest from Napa River.
  • Hot days and cool nights.