By Lisa Rowlands

Established as an official sub-appellation of Napa Valley AVA in 1993, Oakville’s viticultural journey began in the late 1860s when the first vines were planted here by pioneer H.W. Crabb. And since the emergence of California as a premier force of New World wine in the 1960s and 1970s, Oakville has consistently been hailed as one of the state’s most prestigious regions.

The success of Oakville as a wine region owes in no small part to its near perfect climate and diverse, often gravelly, soils which offer exceptional drainage. Abundant sunshine during the growing season is tempered by bay breezes and persistent morning / night-time fog, resulting in temperatures that are neither too warm nor too cool. Indeed here in Oakville, Goldilocks has found her ‘just right’ for producing world class, terroir expressive Cabernet Sauvignon varietals.

The topographical diversity of the appellation means vineyards are sited at various elevations from the valley floor to around two-hundred metres above sea level. The area is also notable for its east-west orientation; vineyards at the eastern edge of the appellation receive more sunshine during the afternoon when compared with their western counterparts, leading to two distinct styles of wine.