Oakville AVA
The Oakville AVA is an American Viticultural Area
American Viticultural Area
An American Viticultural Area is a designated wine grape-growing region in the United States distinguishable by geographic features, with boundaries defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau , United States Department of the Treasury....

 located within Napa Valley AVA
Napa Valley AVA
Napa Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Napa County, California, United States. Napa Valley is considered one of the top wine regions in the United States...

 and centered around the town of Oakville, California. The appellation
An appellation is a legally defined and protected geographical indication used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown; other types of food often have appellations as well...

 extends over a flat expanse of well drained gravel soil between the Vaca
Vaca Mountains
The Vaca Mountains are a mountain range in Napa and Solano Counties, California.-Ecology:A variety of flora and fauna occur in the Vaca Mountains, including tree species such as Blue oak and Leather oak, the latter occurring outside of its typical range....

 and Mayacamas Mountains. Oakville AVA is known for its success with Bordeaux
Bordeaux wine
A Bordeaux wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. Average vintages produce over 700 million bottles of Bordeaux wine, ranging from large quantities of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world...

"Varietal" describes wines made primarily from a single named grape variety, and which typically displays the name of that variety on the wine label. Examples of grape varieties commonly used in varietal wines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot...

s, which have produced wines of rich texture, firm tannins and notes of mint
Mentha is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae . The species are not clearly distinct and estimates of the number of species varies from 13 to 18. Hybridization between some of the species occurs naturally...

 and herb
Except in botanical usage, an herb is "any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume" or "a part of such a plant as used in cooking"...


Geography and climate

The soil of the Oakville AVA are the result of sediment
Sediment is naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently transported by the action of fluids such as wind, water, or ice, and/or by the force of gravity acting on the particle itself....

ary deposits from the hills that form Napa Valley. The soil is gravelly and sand
Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles.The composition of sand is highly variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal...

y, with exceptionally good drainage
Drainage is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from an area. Many agricultural soils need drainage to improve production or to manage water supplies.-Early history:...

. The portion of the AVA between State Route 29
California State Route 29
State Route 29 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California that travels in a north–south direction from State Route 20 in Upper Lake to Interstate 80 in Vallejo.-Route description:...

 and the Silverado Trail
Silverado Trail
The Silverado Trail is a scenic route that travels 29 miles along the Eastern edge of the Napa Valley, parallel to and several miles to the east of California State Route 29.-History:...

 are a mix of clay
Clay is a general term including many combinations of one or more clay minerals with traces of metal oxides and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure.- Formation :Clay minerals...

 and well-drained sandy loam
Loam is soil composed of sand, silt, and clay in relatively even concentration . Loam soils generally contain more nutrients and humus than sandy soils, have better infiltration and drainage than silty soils, and are easier to till than clay soils...

. Oakville AVA has a warm climate well suited to wine grape
A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...

 production. Wind
Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. In outer space, solar wind is the movement of gases or charged particles from the sun through space, while planetary wind is the outgassing of light chemical elements from a planet's atmosphere into space...

 and fog
Fog is a collection of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. While fog is a type of stratus cloud, the term "fog" is typically distinguished from the more generic term "cloud" in that fog is low-lying, and the moisture in the fog is often generated...

 arriving from San Pablo Bay
San Pablo Bay
San Pablo Bay is a tidal estuary that forms the northern extension of San Francisco Bay in northern California in the United States. Most of the Bay is shallow; however, there is a deep water channel approximately in mid bay, which allows access to Sacramento, Stockton, Benicia, Martinez, and...

 can affect the morning and evening hours, but their effects are limited by the intervening Yountville Mounts.


H. W. Crabb planted the first vineyard here in 1868, on 240 acres (97 ha) of land close to the Napa River
Napa River
The Napa River, approximately 55 miles long, is a river in the U.S. state of California. It drains a famous wine-growing region, called the Napa Valley, in the mountains northeast of San Francisco. Milliken Creek is a tributary of the Napa River....

 that he named To Kalon, Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 for "most beautiful". By 1877, Crabb had planted 130 acres (53 ha) and was producing 50,000 gallons (189,250 liters) of wine per year. By 1880, his vineyard had increased to 430 acres (174 ha).
The historical To Kalon Vineyard, part of which is owned by the Robert Mondavi Winery, and part of which is owned by Andy Beckstoffer
Andy Beckstoffer
William Andrew "Andy" Beckstoffer is a California vineyard owner, with holdings in Napa, Lake County, and Mendocino.-Biography:Beckstoffer was a resident of Richmond, Virginia, and went to Virginia Tech on a football scholarship. He graduated with an Engineering degree, and served in the United...

, is still producing grapes today.

In 1903, the United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

 established an experimental vineyard station in Oakville. Known as "Oakville Station", the vineyard is operated by the University of California at Davis. Oakville AVA was officially declared a sub-appellation
An appellation is a legally defined and protected geographical indication used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown; other types of food often have appellations as well...

of Napa Valley in 1993.


There are over 30 wineries that are located within, or source their grapes from vineyards in, the Oakville AVA. Many are small, boutique wineries with limited production.
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