St. Helena AVA

Coordinates: 38°30′54″N 122°30′32″W / 38.51489°N 122.50899°W / 38.51489; -122.50899
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

St. Helena AVA
Wine region
A Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena
Official nameSt. Helena
TypeAmerican Viticultural Area
Year established1995[1]
Years of wine industry163[2]
CountryUnited States
Part ofNorth Coast AVA, Napa Valley AVA
Other regions in North Coast AVA, Napa Valley AVAAtlas Peak AVA, Calistoga AVA, Chiles Valley AVA, Diamond Mountain District AVA, Howell Mountain AVA, Los Carneros AVA, Mt. Veeder AVA, Coombsville AVA, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley AVA, Oakville AVA, Rutherford AVA, Spring Mountain District AVA, Stags Leap District AVA, Wild Horse Valley AVA, Yountville AVA
Total area9,060 acres (14 sq mi)[2]
Size of planted vineyards6,800 acres (2,800 ha)[3]
No. of vineyards400[3]
Varietals producedZinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Petit Verdot
No. of wineries93[4]

St. Helena is an American Viticultural Area (AVA) located within Napa Valley, centered in and around the town of St. Helena, California. It was established by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) on October 11, 1995, after the ATF received a petition from Mr. Charles A. Carpy, Chairman of the St. Helena Appellation Committee, proposing to establish a new viticultural area in Napa County to be known as "St. Helena."[2]


The appellation covers 9,060 acres (14 sq mi) along the flat narrow land towards the northern end of the valley between the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains.[4] Its soil is mostly loam with good water retention and varying amounts of gravel.[5]


The area has a Warm-summer Mediterranean climate,[6] and is somewhat hotter than nearby wine growing regions with summer temperatures that often reach the mid 90s Fahrenheit.[7] It receives approximately 40 inches of rainfall per year.


In 1860, George Belden Crane planted Mission vines in St. Helena, and the vineyard produced its first wine in 1862. By 1874, the vineyard had produced 500,000 gallons of wine annually.[6] Charles Krug, one of the pioneers of Napa Valley winemaking, founded his winery in 1861 in the St. Helena district.[4] Krug also established the St. Helena Viticultural Club in 1876.[8]

On October 11, 1995, St. Helena AVA was established by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).[2][8] The AVA hosts more than 93 wineries with about 6,800 acres (2,800 ha) cultivated.[3][4]


The region is known for its red wines, including Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Pinot Noir, although white wines are also produced there such as Chardonnay.[7] Its terroir is particularly well suited to Bordeaux, particularly Sauvignon Blanc.[6] St. Helena's Cabernet Sauvignon is noted for its quality.[5]


  1. ^ "§ 9.149 St. Helena" (Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Part 9— American Viticultural Areas; Subpart C— Approved American Viticultural Areas). Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR). Retrieved October 31, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d "The St. Helena Viticultural Area (94F–015P)" (27 CFR Part 9 60 FR 47053 [T.D. ATF–366; RE: Notice No. 801] RIN 1512–AA07, Final rule). Federal Register. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. 60 (175): 47053–47061. September 11, 1995. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 31, 2021.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ a b c "St. Helena AVA" (Napa Valley’s Wine Epicenter). Napa Valley Life Magazine. August 5, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d "St. Helena (AVA): Appellation Profile". Appellation America. 2007. Archived from the original on August 29, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
  5. ^ a b Brook, Stephen (March 7, 2011). The Finest Wines of California: A Regional Guide to the Best Producers and Their Wines. University of California Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-520-26658-2.
  6. ^ a b c "St. Helena AVA — What Everyone Should Know". December 27, 2019. Retrieved May 1, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Villano, Matt; Doerper, John; Wood, Sharron S. (2011). California Wine Country (6th ed.). Compass American Guides. p. 116. ISBN 978-1-4000-0492-8.
  8. ^ a b Walker, Larry (March 17, 2005). The Wines of the Napa Valley. Octopus. ISBN 978-1-84533-625-7.

External links[edit]

38°30′54″N 122°30′32″W / 38.51489°N 122.50899°W / 38.51489; -122.50899