Napa Valley's First Wine History Museum and Tasting Salon OpensThe gateway to Napa Valley, 1881 Napa is must-stop for wine enthusiasts, providing guests the opportunity to discover Napa Valley's AVAs for the first time, or to explore some of their favorite appellations more deeply. Napa Valley was the first AVA designated in California in 1981 and within the region are 16 sub-AVAs that contain more geological diversity than any other wine region, leading to dramatically different wines within Napa Valley.
Located in a building more than 140 years old that was reimagined by renowned architect Howard Backen, 1881 Napa is next door to Oakville Grocery, the oldest continually operating grocery store in California. The two centerpieces of the space -- a 48-light Baccarat crystal Zenith chandelier and a reproduction of an 1895 map of Napa County on canvas hanging from the ceiling -- provide a dramatic environment to explore the varied wines of the valley, while displays highlighting the unique stories and soils of each appellation surround the tasting room.
Alcoves hold soil samples from the various regions, along with 1881 Napa wines and descriptions of the appellations written by best-selling and award-winning author of The Wine Bible and wine expert Karen MacNeil. MacNeil also helped develop the various tasting options, which include comparative flights such as Majestic Mountains Versus Plush Valley and Is it Cool to be Hot or Hot to be Cool? as well as an option to Embark on a Journey Throughout the Valley by tasting Cabernet Sauvignons from 12 different sub-AVAs.
In addition to the site-specific Cabs, guests can enjoy wines from a blend of Napa Valley grapes, including a sparkling wine, Sauvignon Blanc, rose, Chardonnay, red blend, Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon -- all wines crafted exclusively for 1881 Napa by Winemaker Thane Knutson to reflect the diversity of Napa Valley. After sampling the broad range of Napa Valley styles, guests can discover which AVAs they like the most and purchase wines from 1881 Napa as well Oakville Grocery. Note: There is a fee for the wine-tasting.
July 1, 2019