The most famous wine region in the United States, Napa Valley continues to surprise each visitor. The Napa Valley is famous for great wine, great food and great landscapes even great weather for growing grapes. Though all are true, there are more to this surreal town than things for foodies and wine connoisseurs. Here are some facts about Napa most of you may not know.
The name Napa is Native American – There were Native Americans in Napa Valley prior to the arrival of the Spaniards in 1769. The name Napa is the name of a Native American village or “tribelet” that once occupied the area.
Napa has hills – Napa is one of the elevated areas in Northern California which is why it is a perfect place to grow grapes from all types of wine. Most vineyards are located in the slopes of these hills.
Napa was once a pioneer town – Before the gold rush, Napa was a typical western pioneer town down to having saloons and brothels. Some of these buildings from this era are still standing at Downtown Napa today.
There were once orchards and ranches in Napa – Before wine was king in Napa, orchards and ranches dominated the agriculture in and around Napa. Some of them still exists which explains why there are great produce, dairy and meat products at the markets here.
There are haunted places in Napa – Because Napa was a pioneer town some of the locals that once lived here during the pioneer years never left. Checkout the ghosts stories from the old courthouse in downtown Napa or the story about the infamous Zodiac killer. You can do a tour of haunted places with a local company called Napa Ghost Tours.
Napa once had a large Chinese population – the Chinese came in so-called junk boats arriving in San Francisco then heading out continuing on via the Napa River and settled in houses by the river banks of Napa. Previous excavations of the river banks by downtown Napa shows evidence of the previous Chinese population.
There was a Civil War here in Napa too – Because there was a good amount of freed African-American residents in Napa in the 1860’s (some records shows almost 200 people), the city had its own civil war battle. Most of the soldiers who died during the civil war are buried at Tulocay cemetery.
Napa has a downtown area – It’s not all about the wine and vineyards in Napa. Though this landscape is beautiful and classic Napa, the city has a downtown area where you can walk to shops, tasting rooms and some of the best restaurants in the valley.
Yes, there are tasting rooms in the downtown area – You don’t have to drive to the vineyards to sample locally produced wine. You can find tasting rooms in the downtown area showcasing the best wine in the region.
There are breweries and distilleries here too – wine is not the only drink of choice in Napa. There are local producers of beer and spirits here as well. If there are wine tours in Napa, there are also beer tour here.