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George Yount planted the first vineyards in the Napa Valley in 1836 in the area now known as NapaNook, and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. While the Napa Valley is well recognized as one of the finest wine growing regions in the world, Yountville remains one of it's lesser known appellations, perhaps in part for the very reason that makes it a fantastic area for viticulture. Unlike Rutherford's famed dusty reds, or neighboring Stag's Leap's "velvet fisted" cabs, Yountville offers a unique, patchwork combination of soils and climates described by many of it's current growers as a combination of all that is possible in the Napa Valley. Officially designated as an American Viticultural Area (AVA), this sub appellation most often recognized for being the place "Where great wine meets great food in the Napa Valley" is beginning to show up on more and more labels as the region continues to gain notoriety for its wines.

Geologically speaking, Yountville offers an extremely unique combination of very distinctive soil characteristics within its boundary delineations. Volcanic soils on the eastern flank are similar to the neighboring Stags Leap District but also features centuries old coastal deposits, and both sedimentary and alluvial soils exist to the west, interspersed with sandy and gravelly loam, as well as a little clay. No other area in all the Napa Valley boasts this particular geomorphic combination, and pronounced soil differences have been recorded between Yountville and the areas immediately surrounding it in Oakville, Stags Leap, Mt. Veeder, and Oak Knoll -- earning the area its AVA designation.

Climatically, historical record keeping and modern weather gathering techniques indicate that cool marine air currents from San Pablo Bay to the south, are trapped when they reach what are known as the Yountville Mounts, keeping natural "air conditioning" working even on the warmest summer days. These milder temperatures allow the grapes of the region plenty of time to develop unique flavor characteristics, demonstrate the local "terroir."

Based on its unique soil and climatological data, Yountville was granted Appellation status in 1999, and was one of the last Napa Valley sub appellations to be officially recognized. As with all AVAs, a minimum of 85% Yountville grapes must be used in the bottle to have the Yountville AVA cited on the label.

Regional statistics:

Climate: Mid-summer peak temperatures may reach 90°F (31°C), with night-time lows in the mid-50°F range (13°C).

Elevation: 20 to 200 ft (6 to 61m) Rainfall: 32 inches (80 cm) annually

Soils: Principally gravelly silt loams, sedimentary in origin, and gravelly alluvial soils with rock, moderately fertile.

Acres Total: 8,000

Acres Planted to Vines: 4,000

Varietals Produced: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Zinfandel