Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley AVA.

Situated directly north of the town of Napa, the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley AVA has been celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.  Congratulations to it!  Calling this particular AVA 'it' is a whole lot quicker than calling it the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley.  However, I feel that 'it' is a tad incongruous, so let's call it OKDNV, afterall, it took an entire 10 years for the then Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to approve OKDNV as the Napa Valley's 14th sub-appellation, so I feel I should be a little more respectful of the efforts and tenacity of those who put forth the initial proposal.
When the vintners and growers of the proposed new AVA got together and decided to petition the government for AVA status they met with a small problem.  The proprietors of a winery up in Hillsboro, Oregon, named Oak Knoll Winery objected to the use of the words 'oak' and 'knoll' for a new AVA in California.  Claiming that the Californians had no "true historical and viticultural data" to support the proposed name, the Oregonians feared that there would be "customer confusion" and an Oak Knoll in Napa would "negatively impact" their ability to market the Oregon winery.  The long and short of it is, the folks in the Napa Valley ended up with a moniker for their AVA which is a real mouthful.  Still, it is known amongst locals as simply Oak Knoll.
Cooler than most of the other AVAs, except Carneros and Coombsville, OKDNV is mostly planted to Bordeaux grape varieties.  OKDNV is a relatively large viticultural area, encompassing 8,300 acres, and is home to about 40 wineries (and many growers also).  Some of the more notable wineries, in my opinion, are; Blackbird Vineyards, Darms Lane Wine, Hendry, Luna Vineyards and Trefethen Vineyards.
Seven down, nine to go.


Dennis Tsiorbas said...

VG: Good read!

Vinogirl said...

NHW: It's an interesting bureaucratic tidbit.