Have you ever wondered why some regions of the world make fabulous wine – and then others either can’t grow grapes or the wine is just “meh?”
The Napa Valley in Northern California is a region known for its plentiful grapes, gorgeous vineyards, and top notch wine. But what makes the Napa Valley so special and why is that wine so dang good?
The Fault Lines Make for Amazing Soil
The same fault lines that cause catastrophic damage across California from time-to-time are the same fault lines that build the soil in unique ways only an earthquake can. The Napa Valley sits on what is known as a “step-over.” It’s a strange gap of land that isn’t cut by the San Andreas fault, but is directly in its path. The result is major tension on the soil, multiple plates merging together, etc. – and all of that leads to amazing, mineral rich soil that you can’t find just anywhere in the world.
The Napa Valley is within just 2% of the world that is categorized as a Mediterranean climate, and this climate is a jackpot when it comes to growing the best grapes. Think warm, dry days, merged with cooler evenings, that create the perfect setting for grapes to grow plentifully. This climate is set into motion by the presence of mountains and ocean both within close proximity.
Unique Geographical Elements
Mountains, ocean, and even a river all make the Napa Valley unique and perfect for growing grapes. The Vaca Range and the Mayacamas Mountains provide a shield from winds and cooler temperatures. The Napa River flows abundantly through the region. And just over those mountain ranges, you’ll find the salty sea breezes of the ocean.