If you’re in search of legendary Napa Valley wines, then look no further than the Oakville AVA. This two mile wide swath of land is home to pioneers of the famous wine region like Robert Mondavi and Joseph Heitz. Quintessential producers who helped make Napa one of the greatest wine regions in the world. Over the years, Oakville has continued to garner recognition and elevate its status thanks to cult Cabernet producers, such as Harlan Estate, Screaming Eagle, and other powerhouse names. Established in 1993, the Oakville AVA is home to around 70 growers and wineries.
Climate, Soil & More
Oakville stretches across the valley floor just north of Yountville and south of Rutherford. It climbs up to 1,000 feet in elevation up the base of the Vaca Mountains in the east and up to 500 feet in elevation in the Mayacamas to the west. Resting mainly on the valley floor, the Oakville AVA exhibits a warmer climate ideal for producing full bodied Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Here, temperatures reach up to the mid-90s°F during summer. Yet early morning and evening fog settles over the valley vineyards, preserving acidity, aromas, and flavors. Additionally, vineyards on the east tend to be warmer, as they take on the afternoon sun. While western vineyards can be cooler since the western mountains shelter them from sun later in the day.
Soils in the Oakville AVA are sedimentary gravelly alluvial loams in the west and more volcanic in the east with average water retention throughout.
The Oakville AVA is certainly a Cabernet Sauvignon lover’s paradise. Though Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc are also widely grown.
Best Wineries to Visit in Oakville
Be sure to plan ahead if you’re going wine tasting in this Napa Valley sub-region. Most wineries require reservations and you should expect to spend a pretty penny.
Where Can I Find a Map of the Oakville AVA?
If you’re looking for a map of this Napa Valley sub-region, check out this one from Oakville Wine Growers Association.
Where is the Best Place to Eat in Oakville?
The Oakville Grocery is hands down my favorite place to eat in this area. It’s a fun pit stop during a day of wine tasting. They have everything from pastries to salads, sandwiches, wood fired pizzas, and more. Plus, a great coffee bar, a wine shop, and wine bar for tastings. Definitely check it out! There is lots of parking around the back.
Get ready for your wine tasting trip with these free guides on how to taste wine.