Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley
The Oak Knoll sub-district of Napa Valley was granted an AVA in 2004 after a sustained bureaucratic tussle. The main justification for the distinction was the coolness of the climate as summer temperatures here are noticeably cooler than up-valley, due to proximity to the San Pablo Bay, 15 miles to the south.

The district lies entirely on the valley floor just to the north of the town of Napa and has a full 3,500 acres under vine. The moderate climate creates wines with good acidity and a degree of finesse, making it more Bordeaux-like than the more powerful wines produced up-valley and at higher elevations.

John Trefethen coined the term “sweet spot” to describe these versatile growing conditions and many different grapes thrive in this moderate climate. Before 1968, the majority of what is now Oak Knoll Wine Country was not used for grape growing at all. Realizing the overwhelming promise of this untapped resource, Eugenio Trefethen purchased 600 acres of this now prestigious land and his wines had a profound impact on the history of Oak Knoll.

In addition to Trefethen, several Napa Valley stalwarts rely heavily on Oak Knoll fruit and comparative newcomers such as Monticello, Blackbird, and many, many others regularly bottle Oak Knoll wines. (Wine/Appellations)