Napa Valley was, at one time, covered by a vast inland sea spanning over much of the area. The salt water from that sea nourished its soil over the millennia. The local Mayacamas Mountains came out of the earth’s continental plates fighting for space, colliding together to form a furnace of magma and spewing forth volcanos and mountain spines. Some of those mountainous spines are now what divides the two valleys: Napa and Sonoma.
When the ancient sea receded, it left behind fertile valleys. The Napa and Russian Rivers formed and roamed back and forth over the face of the Napa and Santa Rosa plains, mixing the rich soil with volcanic ash.
Cool breezes from the Pacific Ocean met the drier eastern air, creating the perfect growing conditions. The chilly morning air and fog burned off and the days turned ideally warm. On some days, the hills were covered by fresh rain giving the soil a drink. When the sun set, the crisp air returned.
What emerged were ideal land and weather conditions giving birth to the science of growing grapes – ‘viticulture.’ Come ‘adventure’ to Napa with us and hear more about growing grapes from the vintners at the wineries and estates we will visit!