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Unsurprisingly, Yountville was named after a man named George Yount, who was the first non-native settler of the Napa Valley region. Upon his arrival in 1831, Yount was given a grant from Mexico and immediately started developing the land. As if that weren’t enough of an accomplishment, Yount also planted the seeds that would grow into the industry that would define his namesake town. Yes, Yount actually was the father of Yountville’s first vineyard: he planted vines from Mexico, little imagining that in a century and a half the area would be surrounded by rows of vineyards and dozens of wineries. Throughout his life, Yount called his town “Sebastopol”; it wasn’t until after he was buried in the local Pioneer Cemetery that Yountville got its current name.
Yountville remained a small, mildly successful wine town until the Prohibition devastated the industry and the entire Napa Valley. When the Great Depression hit and alcoholic beverages were banned, wineries in Yountville closed down and often got converted into farms or other agricultural endeavors. Even when Prohibition ended in 1933, it took 20 years for entrepreneurs to decide to rebuild Yountville’s wineries. Today, its wineries are even more prosperous than they were before, and the town has also earned a wide reputation for its small-town hospitality and gourmet restaurants. You don’t necessarily need to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate what Yountville has to offer.