One million years ago, an ancient volcano erupted in the region that is now Coomsbville. The eruption was so large that the mouth of the volcano collapsed in on itself, resulting in a large crater.
Millions of years later, in 1846, a man named Nathan Coombs acquired a parcel of land and founded the city of Napa. During the late 1880s, several immigrants, including Italian Antonio Carbone and German Henry Hagen, established wineries in the area now known as Coombsville. While these pioneers began to put Napa on the map—Hagen’s wine was poured at the San Francisco Opera House—prohibition abruptly ended their winemaking efforts.
It wasn’t until the late 1960s that new vineyards were planted in Coombsville. Many people assumed the cooler climate was best suited for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. Famously the Haynes vineyard of Chardonnay was planted in 1967. In the late 1970s Frank Farella, against all advice given to him by colleagues, planted the first Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the region—simply because he loved them. They sold their incredible fruit to the star vintners of the time, and the region quickly became a popular source of the best grapes. Many of the Valley’s great names blended the grapes into their notable and award-winning bottles.
In 2011, the area was finally given the recognition it deserved when it became Napa Valley’s 16th AVA. Today Coombsville is a thriving community of celebrated vintners and grape growers who appreciate the land’s rich history and look forward to its bright future.
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