The most popular and –let me say- “important” grape in Napa is the Cabernet Sauvignon, which gives pretty robust red wines aged in oak for at least 2-3 years generally; they also call it “Cab”.. thing that surprise me a lot: it sounds to me like giving a nickname to a wine! Funny!
(the most historical winery for the production of this wine is STEAG’S LEAP WINE CELLARS).
Beyond Cabs the other popular grapes are the following:
– WHITE: Chardonnay for sure (the most historical winery for the production of this wine is MONTELENA), Sauvignon blanc and then a minor production of Pinot grigio/gris, Riesling, Gewurztraminer; from this grape they make white wines and also sparkling ones (see for example Domaine Chandon, owned by the big french Moet Chandon, or also Mumm)
– RED: Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel (which is Primitivo grape) and then a minor production of Barbera, Petit Shiraz, Cabernet Franc; from those grapes the red wines (which are always aged in wood, mostly in French barriques and sometimes in American ones and/or big casks) and also rose’ from the reds (even if it is not very popular, I would say even less than in Italy) and sparkling wines.
And then there is PRAGER and an another couple of small wineries (see also Ruttherford Hill) which produce Port. I have been at PRAGER and I have discovered some very nice ports made by the family. Very welcoming people and very nice rooms (see pic) with dollars on the wall.
PRAGER produces only a table wine (Petit Shirah) and well 7 different “Ports” including a white one. Of course, they cannot call it Port because of the portoguese law which rules the port production and they should call it “sweet red wine”, something the family does not like a lot! They started in the 1969 when port was not popular at all, and after 40 years is still not. The most important issue I have appreciated at Prager is their effort in teaching to drink sweet wines not only with dessert but with several other things: cheese and ham and appetizer in general: something I personally love!
See more on: http://www.pragerport.com/. They are smaller than the other important wineries of the area and they care less about mktg&communication, you can get it surfing the website but it has been a great discovery for me.
Sorry for the resolution of the pictures