What Sets Napa Valley Apart

1281 Words May 9th, 2016 6 Pages
Much of California’s wine regions parallel in their respective histories. However, what sets Napa Valley apart is its rich collection of individual growers and producers dedicated to furthering the reputation of the region from the very beginning. Importantly, its unique location provides ecological serenity for the production of wine from its expansive variety of soils to the balancing effect of its climate.

The history of Napa Valley and many vineyard growing areas of California are fraught with a tumultuous history. Economic and ecological disasters from its birth in the mid-1850s through the 21st century have at times ebbed the growth of the region. However, various vineyards and producers continued their craft regardless of these
…show more content…
Helena Viticultural Club where “they agreed to remove the Mission grapes and plant French and Italian grape varieties…” (Leve). This was greatly improved Napa and California’s wine industries. However, a series of climatic events would soon devastate the region.
The first of these events was the spread of Phylloxera, which had destroyed much of Europe’s vineyards. Napa’s vineyards remedied this by grafting local rootstocks to their vinifera vines. In a way, Phylloxera’s devastating effect on Europe, helped Napa Valley and American vineyards in general. Tariffs “levied against French wine in 1879 coupled with the small production of European wines, due to the ravages of Phylloxera made California wines more popular than ever.” (Leve).

If Phylloxera was not enough, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and WWII severely limited the progress of Napa Valley. Except for a few vineyards producing wines for religious reasons, many had to shut down where “[m]ost people just gave up, abandoned their land and allowed their vines to die.” (Leve). The Great Depression prevented the regions further growth until the late-1930s. Then, the beginning effects of WWII would again stop growth of the region. Luckily, the region would begin to flourish again by the mid-1940s.

The reputation of Napa Valley and California wines would forever change during 1976 Paris Wine tasting. California’s wines were pitted against assumed better
Open Document