Town History

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During the early part of the 1800’s, the area that now makes up the Town of Yountville was owned by Mexico. George C. Yount received an 11,887-acre land grant from the Mexican government in 1836. His land extended from Yountville to just south of St. Helena and across the entire width of the Napa Valley. Yount was the first permanent Euro-American settler and the first person to plant grapes in the Napa Valley. Yount named his land, Caymus Rancho, after a tribe of Native Americans in the area. In the early 1850s Yount laid out a six block area with a public square and created a small village that he called Yountville.

Immediately below Yount’s southern property line was the northern property line for the Mexican land given to Salvador Vallejo, about 2 years after Yount received his land grant. Vallejo called his lands Rancho de Napa. After the Bear Flag Revolt in 1847, Vallejo began selling his Rancho de Napa property to early pioneers. The people who purchased these lots built houses and stores wanted to name their community Sebastopol to make it distinct from Yountville. So for a time, 2 places existed, both Yountville and Sebastopol, each with their own post offices.

 2005 Yountville Days Parade
2005 Yountville Days Parade
Wells Fargo Stage Coach & G. Yount

After Yount’s death, Sebastopol changed its name in 1867, in Yount’s honor, and both Yountville and Sebastopol became a single community in Napa County.

By 1868, railroad service had been introduced into the town and influenced the town’s configuration.The coming of the railroad tracks brought in many new comers such as recent immigrant Gotteib Groezinger, who in 1870 purchased twenty acres of land and by 1874, built a winery, barrel room and distillery. The buildings remained a winery until 1955, but for eleven years lay dormant until it was brought to its present state. Today the three massive stone buildings are known as V-Marketplace and house a collection of specialty shops and restaurants. Yountville has many fine shops, restaurants, are galleries and wineries.  

Yountville is also the home to the French Laundry, a Michelin 3-star restaurant, and boasts numerous other Michelin star rated restaurants. Yountville is considered by many food critics to be home to some of the finest restaurants in the world.

 

Yountville became a California municipality on February 4, 1965 and recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary of incorporation.