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Napa Valley, California, USA - Unravel Travel TV

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Uploaded on Jun 12, 2011

North America's legendary wine and food capital The Napa Valley is a collection of small towns and villages.

The Napa Valley is a name derived from the language of the area's native Wappo Indians, and has come to mean "land of plenty." "Napa" has meant a place of natural abundance for centuries—our rivers full of fish, our forests, rolling hills, wildlife, climate, and fertile land for planting crops all combine to make The Napa Valley a place of singular beauty and productivity. The first written description of the land dates to 1823 and was penned by Padre Jose Altimura who estimated that several thousand Wappo Indians inhabited the area. Word quickly spread about the abundance and temperate climate of The Napa Valley and by the late 1840s the area was teeming with quicksilver mines and lumber mills. The region's popularity grew when steamships began traveling from San Francisco to the city of Napa via the Napa River a trip they could make in about three hours. Soon afterwards, the railroad line became available from the ferry terminal at Vallejo on the shores of San Pablo Bay to the city of Calistoga, creating new access to the healing waters of Calistoga's famed hot springs. The Napa Valley has weathered some tough times in its relatively short history. The Valley's once-famed Silverado Mine was exhausted in 1875 after just three years of operation. In 1893 an outbreak of phylloxera, a serious grapevine disease, crippled many of the valley's 140 wineries. Prohibition, enacted in 1920, dealt the final blow to the early wine industry. Only a handful of wineries survived the thirteen years of Prohibition by selling sacramental wines and by selling grapes to home winemakers. Today, however, with vision and perseverance, the industry has greatly surpassed its earlier "golden age," and now boasts nearly 400 wineries producing some of the world's finest wines. The Napa Valley continues to be a thriving agricultural area, a characteristic not typical of communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is thanks to a group of concerned citizens who in 1968 had the foresight to create the first Agricultural Preserve in the State, indeed in the entire nation. A land zoning ordinance voted on by a majority of the county's citizens established agriculture and open space as the "best use" for the land within Napa County. The "Ag Preserve," as it is called by locals, has been a model for other areas to follow. In combination with the Napa County Land Trust, more than 438,000 acres within Napa County have been designated as agricultural preserve or watershed protection lands. 2008 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Ag Preserve. The Napa Valley offers new discoveries with each return visit. Enjoy the unique character of each town that dots this 30-mile long Valley, and take time to explore and cherish this "land of plenty."

Michael Mondavi, Winemaker and Sara Brooks, General Manager, Historic Napa Mill featured in the video.

The Legendary Napa Valley http://www.legendarynapavalley.com

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