Wild Horse Valley AVA

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wild Horse Valley AVA
Wine region
Type American Viticultural Area
Year established 1988[1]
Country United States
Part of Napa Valley AVA
Other regions in Napa Valley AVA Atlas 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, St. Helena AVA, Stags Leap District AVA, Yountville AVA
Soil conditions volcanic[2]
Total area 3,300 acres (13 km2)[3]
Size of planted vineyards 70 acres (0 km2)[3][4]
Varietals produced Chardonnay, Pinot noir[5]
No. of wineries 1[2]

The Wild Horse Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area whose borders overlap both Napa County and Solano County, California and is partially contained within the Napa Valley AVA. The appellation's southerly location results in more hours of sunshine than other locations in Napa Valley or nearby Green Valley. The proximity to San Pablo Bay results in a cooler climate, making Wild Horse Valley attractive for the cultivation of grapes like Pinot noir.[3]

Geography and Climate[edit]

The Wild Horse Valley AVA features two distinct subregions. To the west, the area is cooled by San Pablo Bay, although the elevation keeps the area above the fogline. The eastern half, being protected by the slope of the ground, is much warmer. The soil type is generally volcanic throughout the entire AVA.[2]


Grapes were first planted in the area in the 1880s.[4] The current vineyard plantings date back to 1980, with commercial production starting in 1985.[5]

Public Nuisance Complaints at Wild Horse Vineyard[edit]

The largest vineyard in the Wild Horse Valley AVA is the Wild Horse Vineyard of Napa Valley.[6]

In June 2015, Napa County sued the owners of the Wild Horse Valley Vineyard, "alleging their vineyard is a public nuisance, according to the complaint filed in Napa County Superior Court."[7] The office of Napa County Agricultural Commissioner Greg Clark said that it had received numerous complaints from neighboring vineyards because the Wild Horse Valley Vineyard was in "“in general neglect and disrepair" and that the office has been working with the owners, Brian and Diane Silver, since 2010, but the Silvers would not pull the vineyard or actively farm the vineyard to industry standards.

Neglected crops can become places for pests to become established and then spread. The European Grapevine Moth (EGVM) larvae feed on grapes, and was first found in Napa Valley in 2009. Since then, Napa Valley has spent nearly $60 million to eradicate the moth.[8]

The Wild Horse Vally Vineyard has not been harvested since 2009.[7] "County officials are seeking a court order to have owners Brian and Diane Silver or a contractor hired by Napa County at the Silvers’ expense to pull the vineyard."


  1. ^ Code of Federal Regulations. "§ 9.124 Wild Horse Valley." Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Part 9 — American Viticultural Areas; Subpart C — Approved American Viticultural Areas. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c "Wild Horse Valley". Calwineries. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Appellation America (2007). "Wild Horse Valley (AVA): Appellation Description". Retrieved October 31, 2007.
  4. ^ a b "History". Olivia Brion. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Heron Lake WInery". Calwineries. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Goldfarb, Alan (5 October 2007). "The Siberia of the Napa Valley: Has Wild Horse Valley’s Time Come?". Appellation America. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Todorov, Kerana (6 June 2015). "Napa County: Vineyard is a public nuisance". Napa Valley Register. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  8. ^ Eberling, Barry (27 August 2015). "Napa poised to TKO the European grapevine moth". Napa Valley Register. Retrieved 9 November 2015.