Note: Some links in this post contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase.
In this post I want to give everyone an overview of the Napa Valley AVAs. An AVA (American Viticultural Area) is a legally defined wine area approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The TTB defines the characteristics and boundaries of each area. I know, I know boring (yawn), but it helps to have a little background knowledge to understand what is going on. Napa Valley is considered the AVA. Napa Valley has 16 sub-AVAs. Ok, more boring stuff, but it will help in the future to understand how wines are labeled. Now, legally, a minimum of 85% o the grapes in a wine must be sourced from an AVA to print that AVA name on the bottle.
Now the label above is a wine label I found on the internet, but it is a great example of what I was just talking about. At the top of the label you see the “Producer Name”, which is the winery. Below that you see the “Region (AVA)”, which on this label is the Willamette Valley, which is in Oregon. Then you see the “Vintage”, “Grape Variety”, and “Bottle volume Alcohol Content”. In the wine at least 85% of the grapes were sourced from the Willamette Valley. Once you figure out what varietals and what regions you like your wine from it gets so awesome. Because then you can try wines from that regions or surrounding regions, and as you learn and your tasted buds blossom you really begin to understand and its AMAZING!!!
Now back to Napa. As I said above there are 16 sub-AVAs and the primary varietals (or types of wine) produced are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. There are other varietals produced, some for blending and some for bottling, but for now lets just stick to the main ones.
I love this so much. I’m getting really jazzed being able to share this with you.
Below are all of the sub-AVAs.
Listed in alphabetical order:
- Atlas Peak
- Chiles Valley
- Diamond Mountain District
- Howell Mountain
- Mt. Veeder
- Oak Knoll Distict
- Spring Mountain District
- St. Helena
- Stags Leap District
- Wild Horse Valley
Over the following months I am going to take you on a journey through each sub-AVA. Sounds exciting. RIGHT!! I know, food, wine, beautiful pictures. It’s going to be AWESOME!
Now enough of the boring stuff, or maybe not so boring if you’re like me. FOOD!!! Yes I said it, FOOD!!! What so I mean. When I say “food” I always think of wine. I know that might make me sound like an wino, but oh well, so be it. I love food and wine. Food can enhance the taste of the wine, and wine can enhance the taste of the food. Since it’s summer time, I’m going to feature Beef Sliders. You can grill them or cook them on the stove top. Either way, you can enjoy them outside with an amazing glass of Cab Sauv.
These or so delicious and can be made with or without cheese. They pair well with a jammy, earthy Napa Valley Cab Sauv. I also like to add BACON!
- 2 pounds Ground beef (I prefer 80/20)
- 1/2 cup white or red onion, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 6 slices cheese (Chef's choice)
- 12 slider buns (or small rolls)
Preheat oven to 375 F
In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef, onions, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly with your hands.
In an ungreased 13x9 pan, press ground beef mixture in evenly.
Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes (until the meat is cooking to the temperature that you like it)
Remove pan from the oven and carefully pour the grease from the pan into a container.
Place cheese slices on top of the meat and put back into the oven for 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Remove from the oven.
Cut the meat into 12 squares.
With a spatula, remove each square from the pan and place onto the center of a roll.
Serve with your favorite burger toppings: mayo, mustard, ketchup, pickles, etc.
My favorite: BACON!!! (if you can't tell, I LOVE BACON)