Regions and Appellations USA California North Coast Napa County Napa Valley Oak Knoll District

Oak Knoll District Wine

Oak Knoll District (officially the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley) is an AVA in the southern reaches of California's Napa Valley. Its location near San Pablo Bay means it is one of Napa's cooler AVAs, and is known for its remarkably bordelais red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec.

The AVA covers 3360 hectares (8300 acres) of the valley floor immediately north of Napa township and the Carneros AVA. Oak Knoll District borders Yountville and Stags Leap District to the north, and Mount Veeder covers the Mayacamas mountains above.

Vines lining the valley floor, Oak Knoll District
©Napa Valley Vintners

Like much of the Napa Valley, the Oak Knoll District was first planted to vine during the Californian gold rush of the 1850s, and expanded during the course of the 19th Century. Unfortunately, disease and Prohibition killed off much of Napa's wine industry in the early 20th Century, and it wasn't until the 1960s, when Trefethen Vineyards began to reclaim land in Oak Knoll as vineyard, that winegrowing returned to the area.

Oak Knoll District was declared an AVA in 2004, after the local vinegrowers' drawn-out bureaucratic struggle to gain independent recognition for their terroir. The justification for Oak Knoll District's status as a separate AVA stems from the coolness of the climate. Average summer temperatures are several degrees cooler compared to the likes of St Helena and Calistoga, mostly thanks to the cooling fog and breezes from San Pablo Bay 15 miles (25km) to the south. With a warm spring and a cool summer, the growing season here can span more than eight months and run into October, giving grapes ample time to ripen fully and develop complexity, while not losing critical acidity.

The Bordeaux grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec hold sway among Oak Knoll District's red wines. Chardonnay is the pick of the white grapes here, and benefits just as much from the extended growing season as the reds do. Prestigious wineries from outside the AVA now regularly buy in Oak Knoll District fruit for their whites, valuing it for its balance of sugar and acidity, which is rarely found in this part of California.

Oak Knoll District is not to be confused with the longer-established and more prestigious Oakville AVA a short distance to the north, on the far side of Yountville. While Oak Knoll District has made significant progress towards establishing itself on the top tier of Napa AVAs, it still has work to do before gaining the prestige enjoyed by Oakville.

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Most Popular Oak Knoll District Wine

Based on search frequency, updated monthly
Wine Name
Grape
Popularity
Score
Avg Price
Trefethen Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, USA Cabernet Sauvignon 2,398th 89 $52
Trefethen Family Vineyards Hillspring Vineyard Halo Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, USA Bordeaux Blend Red 4,152nd 90 $218
Trefethen Family Vineyards Dragon's Tooth, Oak Knoll District, USA Bordeaux Blend Red 9,604th 90 $56
Trefethen Family Vineyards Chardonnay, Oak Knoll District, USA Chardonnay 9,638th 89 $30
Beringer Vineyards 'Luminus' Chardonnay, Oak Knoll District, USA Chardonnay 10,562nd 90 $30
Trefethen Family Vineyards Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, USA Cabernet Sauvignon 12,394th 90 $114
Trefethen Family Vineyards Merlot, Oak Knoll District, USA Merlot 15,082nd 90 $38
Rafael & Fils Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, USA Cabernet Sauvignon 17,377th 89 $56
Seven Rings Oak Knoll District Cabernet Sauvignon, California, USA Cabernet Sauvignon 17,377th 88 $34
Materra Right Bank, Oak Knoll District, USA Bordeaux Blend Red 17,903rd 87 $47
Trefethen Family Vineyards Double T Red, Oak Knoll District, USA Bordeaux Blend Red 21,117th 88 $22
Lobo Wulff Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, USA Cabernet Sauvignon 21,501st 90 $66
Black Stallion Winery Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, USA Cabernet Sauvignon 24,713th $65
Eleven Eleven Wines Laki's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, USA Cabernet Sauvignon 26,093rd 91 $125
Trefethen Family Vineyards Dry Riesling, Oak Knoll District, USA Riesling 26,443rd 89 $22
Nickel & Nickel Vaca Vista Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, USA Cabernet Sauvignon 27,542nd $126
Alpha Omega Sunshine Valley Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, USA Cabernet Sauvignon 30,277th 92 $191
Ashes & Diamonds Grand Vin, Oak Knoll District, USA Cabernet Franc - Merlot 33,432nd 89 $95
Trefethen Family Vineyards Double T Chardonnay, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, USA Chardonnay 36,400th 87 $15
Trefethen Family Vineyards Pinot Noir, Oak Knoll District, USA Pinot Noir 37,861st 89 $52
Ashes & Diamonds 'Red Hen Vineyard' Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, USA Cabernet Sauvignon 38,631st 90 $99
Nickel & Nickel 'Bear Flat' Merlot, Oak Knoll District, USA Merlot 43,956th 89 $55
Black Stallion Gaspare Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, USA Cabernet Sauvignon 45,539th 90 $65
Honig Vineyard & Winery Rafael Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District, USA Cabernet Sauvignon 51,065th 89 $102
Trefethen Family Vineyards Cabernet Franc, Oak Knoll District, USA Cabernet Franc 53,979th 89 $44
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To see how Wine-Searcher uses average pricing and professional wine critic scores on this page, please see Average Wine Prices and Wine Scores. To find out about popularity, please see Wine Ranks.
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