Napa Valley Grape Varieties

Although Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted, the Napa Valley holds many surprises for wine lovers looking for varieties off the beaten path. From Albarino to Zinfandel, more than three dozen different wine grape varieties flourish in the Napa Valley. Below is a description of those that are the most widely planted:

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is the acknowledged king of red grapes in Napa Valley, accounting for 40% of our total production and 55% of our crop value. This vine is grown throughout Napa Valley and achieves a variety of expression depending on its vineyard site. Its flavors display a wide variety of black fruits, including currant, cherry and plum, and often show notes of spice from oak aging.

On the palate these wines can be dense and powerful in youth but age gracefully. When young they are best matched with robust red meat dishes such as game and braised lamb, while older Cabs are superb accompaniments to simply prepared roasts and steaks and aged cheeses.


Chardonnay is the second most planted grape variety in Napa Valley, and grows with particular success in the calcium-rich soils and cool climate of the Los Carneros AVA, where it can ripen slowly.

Chardonnay has long been called the winemaker’s grape, as few wines exhibit the flavors created by winemaking practices as profoundly as this Burgundian grape variety. Barrel fermentation, lees stirring and malolactic fermentation are the main winery techniques used to create complex aromas and flavors in this wine. As a result, Napa Valley Chardonnay can range in style from fresh, crisp and lively to rich, round and buttery. This wide range of styles can accompany a wide variety of dishes, from simply prepared seafood to most pork and poultry dishes.


Merlot has been a fixture in the Napa Valley since the early 1970s, where, as in Bordeaux, it has been used as a blending partner to add body and soft fruit to the more structured and tannic Cabernet Sauvignon.

Since these early days, Merlot has come into its own as a varietal wine. Its lovely aromas of ripe cherry and rich earthiness, a soft texture and a smooth finish have appealed to a new generation of red wine drinkers. Given the diversity of vineyard sites and winemaking practices in Napa Valley, Merlot has shown itself capable of producing both lighter and full-bodied, richly textured wines.

Pair Merlot with food much in the same way as you would Cabernet Sauvignon, although its lighter body and tannins make it a versatile partner to a wide range of dishes.

Pinot Noir

The earthy, ethereal aromas and silky texture of Pinot Noir have beguiled wine connoisseurs for centuries. Yet there are few areas on earth that can coax the magic out of this thin-skinned, fickle grape variety that is hard to grow and challenging to handle in the winery. Coastal California possesses several areas that produce great Pinot Noir, and Napa Valley’s Los Carneros was one of the first to recognize its potential.

A thin-skinned grape with less pigmentation than most red varieties, most Pinot goes through a cool maceration period before fermentation begins (called a cold soak) to extract additional color. One of the hallmark qualities of Pinot Noir is its bright acidity, which makes it a versatile partner with food. It is one of the few red wines that pairs well with seafood (think salmon, tuna and bouillabaisse), a wide variety of cheese and is absolutely perfect with game birds and grilled lamb chops.

Sauvignon Blanc

The intense flavor profile of Sauvignon Blanc grabs your attention. Herbaceous, grassy notes and vibrant acidity are hallmark qualities of this grape, and it is capable of showing a wide variety of fruit character.

Most Sauvignon Blanc is fermented in neutral vessels, such as stainless steel and concrete eggs, to allow its distinctive varietal character to shine through. However, some Sauvignon Blanc is fermented and aged in oak, creating more layered flavors and texture in the finished wine, and is often labeled Fumé Blanc.

Fresh and bright and perfect for warm weather, Sauvignon Blanc goes great with light summer fare and salads and is wonderful with shellfish and goat cheese.


An exceedingly versatile grape variety, Zinfandel was the mainstay of 19th century winemaking in California. Originally crafted into the dry, complex style of red wine we know today, this grape truly burst onto the American wine scene in its slightly sweet, rosé rendition, White Zinfandel.

Old vines in Napa Valley are capable of producing rich, heady, jammy wines with notes of spice and black pepper. Zinfandel is also made in lighter, more food-friendly renditions and is often used as the base for fortified wines. The bold, spicy character of Zinfandel makes it a perfect partner with barbeque.

Petit Verdot & Malbec

Petit Verdot and Malbec are almost exclusively used in classic Bordeaux blends in Napa Valley, contributing tannin, deep color and spicy complexity to the final wine. They are occasionally bottled as varietal wines here, as our Mediterranean climate allows these grapes to ripen fully.

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc has long contributed finesse and a peppery perfume to Bordeaux-style blends around the world. One of the genetic parents of Cabernet Sauvignon (along with Sauvignon Blanc), it produces light-bodied, soft red wines on its own in France’s Loire Valley. In Napa Valley, however, Cabernet Franc can be every bit as big and bold as Cabernet Sauvignon.

Syrah / Shiraz

Syrah (or Shiraz) is grown throughout the world and produces powerful red wines with spicy notes and great aging potential. A wide range of aromas and flavors can be coaxed from this grape depending on the climate and soils in which it is grown. Syrah from cooler climates tends towards red berry fruit and earthy, gamey notes, while warmer sites that can ripen the grapes more fully tend to produce jammy, dark fruited wines with a strong spice character.

Depending on its style, Syrah is a great partner for most grilled meats and game.

Petite Sirah

Long thought to be a variant of Syrah with smaller, more petite berries, Petite Sirah was identified as the grape variety Durif through DNA testing. The small, thick-skinned berries create a high skin to juice ratio, producing dense, inky, extracted wines with chewy tannins. When aged in new oak barrels and given a little bottle age, the wine can develop great complexity and notes of melted dark chocolate.

Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio

Pinot Gris/Grigio is a variant of Pinot Noir, and can have a grayish-blue color to its fruit, accounting for its name (Gris/Grigio meaning gray in French/Italian). Wines from this grape can be light to medium bodied with a yellow to copper-pink color and aromas of citrus, pear, apple, melon with some light green notes. In most of Italy, Pinot Grigio is made in a light, citrusy style, while in Alsace, Oregon and Napa Valley, richer, more full-bodied wines are produced.

Cheers to a holiday party at L’uva Bella Winery & Bistro. Our urban winery and variety of spaces provide an ideal environment to celebrate the holidays with colleagues and friends.

From small gatherings of to company-wide celebrations, our variety of spaces and options provide the perfect setting for a unique, festive holiday party.

Food and Beverages

All catering is done in-house and features our unique take on Italian American cuisine. We offer a number of packages that include a cocktail hour, a seated or roaming dinner service, and open bar highlighting L’uva Bella Winery wines.

Décor and Staffing

As always, we take care of the details. We are committed to creating the best experience possible for you and your guests; all staff members are highly-trained service industry professionals who work full time at our establishment.

Contact us to book your event

To book your event or if you have questions about a private event at the winery, please contact us:

Our Private Event Manager will get back to you shortly.


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Pete now has two wines manufactured and produced by L’uva Bella exclusively for Youngstown State University.

Pete’s Red – Pinot Noir

The work put into growing Pinot is definitely worth it. Pinot Noir makes flavorful fruit forward medium bodied wine. Pinot Noir’s flavor profile is a medley of strawberry, cherry, blackberry, and raspberry. It marries well with wild game, cheeses, beef, bacon, pork and chocolate.

Pete’s White – Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is w white wine that is light and refreshing. Pinot Grigio pairs well with pasta with pesto or cream sauce, cheese, butter, seafood ravioli, trout, salmon, and veal scaloppini.

Pinot Noir Wine by L'uva Bella

Great savings are yours now on two of our famous wines. 2014 Muscat and LB Pinot Noir are on sale for just $7* per bottle and $60 per case.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir’s flavor profile is a medley of strawberry, cherry, blackberry, and raspberry. It marries well with wild game, cheeses, beef, bacon, pork, and chocolate.

2014 Muscat

Muscat wines are characterized by pungent floral aromas and sweet, spicy flavors and are used as dessert wines.

2014 Muscat and Pinot Noir

$7.00 per bottle to go *

$60 per case* to go

Mix and match these two wines. Must be sold in case formats. 

Not valid on prior purchases. Mix and match case formats. This offer cannot be combined with any other offer. Promotion cannot be applied retroactively and only applies to orders placed during the promotional time.

L’uva Bella grapes

L’uva Bella Winery is dedicated to providing the highest quality grapes to home winemakers and commercial wineries. All of our grapes are hand-picked to maintain quality and consistency. You may download order forms by visiting our Juices & Grapes page.

Varieties include:


Alicante, Barbera, Black Muscat, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Sirrah, Pinot Noir, Ruby Cabernet, Sangiovese, Syrah, and Zinfandel.


Chardonnay, Muscat Alexandria, and Thompson Seedless

Two grapes deliveries are scheduled for  Sept. 21 (full) and Sept. 28.

Grape orders must be submitted to us by September 19 for the Sept, 28 shipment— especially if ordering varietals other than Petit Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon. (This will ensure that you receive the grapes as fresh as possible.)

Your email address and phone number are required when ordering grapes because it is important to contact you if something changes.

All fresh grape orders need to be picked up within three days of delivery.

Grape Juice Containers

To make great wine starts with great juice. We purchase only the best products from Italy, California, and Chile. Below is a list of red, and white wine juices now available.

Red Wine Juices  

Alicante: a light-bodied wine with hints of tannin, astringency, and acidity. It has a beautiful, rich “brick red” color.

Barbera: the vivid hue of red which characterizes full fruity flavors. This wine has a minimal amount of tannins which means it will not be astringent. Taste perception can vary from fresh cherry to a plumy boldness. If aged, this wine can have a touch of spiciness.

 Cabernet Merlot: Flavors of black currant and cherry, the Merlot blend smoothes it. A full bodied wine and its pungent flavors linger on the palate.

Cabernet Sauvignon: rich, intense wine that has aromas of deep berry fruits and flowers. Has a smooth lingering finish.

Chianti: Very young tasting. It has the fruity fresh appeal of Beaujolais and is usually a Sangiovese grape blend.

Grenache: Most widely planted red grape variety in the world. This wine is spicy, berry-flavored and soft on the palate. Neither astringent nor tannic. It is mostly used as a blending grape because of its high yield and success in warm climates.

Merlot: softer and fruitier than Cabernet Sauvignon but has many similar characteristics to it. It has black cherry, currant, cedar, and green olive tasting notes.

Petit Syrah/Petit Sirah: its blackberry and spice aromas make a robust wine with a dark inky color. Makes a well-balanced wine and can be described with scented flavors of carnations and violets.

Pinot Noir: aromas resembling black currant. Sweet fruitiness and low tannins. Aging brings out a spicy and smoky flavor. Its flavors are reminiscent of sweet red berries, plums, tomatoes, cherries and occasionally have a notable earthy or woody flavor-depending on growing conditions (terroir).

Sangiovese: ruby red in color has a luscious red cherry character with hints of violets.

Syrah: A dark, rich color and has a ripeness that delivers a full zesty finish.

Zinfandel: a deep red, spicy, peppery wine with a hint of fruit flavors of berries or dark cherries.

White Juices

Chardonnay: tasting notes of apples, pears, lemons, peaches, and grapes. Terroir has a significant influence on this variety’s chemistry and flavors.

Gewurztraminer: One of Germany’s best-known varieties its name translates to “spice.” It is naturally high in sugar and well balanced in acidity. Typically off-dry with aromas of roses, passion fruit, and floral notes.

Muscat, Muscato, Muscatel Alejandria: has a sweet, floral aroma. Due to the high level of sugar, it is commonly used for sweeter style wines. However, it can be used to make a wine with high alcohol.

Pinot Grigio: A soft, gently perfumed white with hints of a honey nut to spicy musk. One of the most popular whites.

Sauvignon Blanc: light to medium-bodied dry wine that develops an herbaceous bouquet & spicy taste.

Thompson Seedless: a grape used to make sweet table wines. Has a greenish white color.

Blush Juices – White Merlot and White Zinfandel also avaiable.

To download our juice order form click here. For more information call 330.536.6450