Oakville is a small AVA (American Viticultural Area) in the very heart of the Napa Valley wine region, situated between the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains famous for successfully growing the Bordeaux grape varieties. The history of the region is relatively recent, although the first vineyard was planted in 1868, on land close to the Napa River named “To Kalon”, "most beautiful" in Greek. The international fame came in the 1960s and in 1993 Oakville was awarded AVA status.
The favourable climate conditions with sunshine and warm temperatures, allow Oakville's vines to reach optimal maturity throughout the growing season, producing some of the finest wines in the world. Oakville is very fortunate to have a moisture-laden fog that drifts up the Napa Valley from the San Francisco and San Pablo bays important in keeping the region cool.
Oakville’s microclimate is very important in preserving the freshness and the sugar content balance of the grapes resulting in one of the most distinguished Cabernet Sauvignon, with hints of eucalyptus and mint. The topography of the AVA is the result of sedimentary deposits from the hills that form Napa Valley, and the soil is gravelly and sandy with exceptionally good drainage.
Undoubtedly the Cabernet Sauvignon is the grape king here, covering around 75 % of the planted area, producing big and bold wines with great elegance and superb ageing potential. Other notable grape varieties are Merlot, which comes as the second most planted grape and there are small quantities of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel.
There are more than 80 wineries within the AVA with some of them fetching very high prices with a year's long waiting list. Most of the wineries are small, boutique wineries with very limited production and enormous demand.
Oakville AVA is the most sought after Cabernet Sauvignon area and will gain even more worldwide recognition for its opulent wines.