The Napa River has been a source of agricultural bounty in the valley for hundreds of years, dating all the way back to the Wappo Native American tribes that used it's tributaries as their water source. Modern viticulture has certainly benefited from the rich alluvial soils that are carried in its current year after year, providing a mixed gradient of robust soil into the various soil types that permeate the Napa Valley. Therefore the river has a wide-ranging influence wines that are made from grape varieties that are grown near its banks and influenced microclimates.
Every once in awhile--wait, scratch that. Every few months it seems now, someone comes up with something exciting, new and innovating in the world of wine. In this particular case, that new and innovative wine thing is a brand, spanking new wine event format! The people that have been slinging the wine juggernaut known as Wine 2.0 (Twitter) for years are now behind the inaugural event known as the San Francisco Vintners Market. Just why is this event so amazing and different from the many wonderful wine events that are held at Fort Mason in SF each and every year? Well...just read a little further why don't you??
The French have been rattling on and on for years about their winegrowing concept of "terroir." Ostensibly, it means a "sense of place;" whereby you gain a sense about the climate, soil, water, air, sun and just about everything else that helps to grow the grapes in a particular region. While I also believe this to be true and the source of the winemaker phrase "winemaking begins in the vineyard," I've been frustrated by what I've viewed as the continued inability to truly bottle the terroir of a special vineyard. A white Entre-deux-Mers that tastes slightly salty because it's next to the sea? Sure, but then a whole lot of other vineyards around the world are near the sea, too!