Wine lovers love to travel because nothing showcases great wines better than exploring them at the vineyards and wineries that create them. Context reveals character.

That idea drives the Wine Spectator Guide to Napa Valley, the new app from Cigar Aficionado’s sister publication of which I am the executive editor. I’m understandably excited about the chance to gather our extensive coverage of the area in one easily accessible iPad program. The content not only features the expertise of the most experienced team of editors and tasters in the world of wine, it taps our knowledge of the many other charms of one of winemaking’s most inviting regions.

California’s Napa Valley is a pilgrimage spot on the wish list of every wine lover. This beautiful destination doesn’t just make the top examples of America’s best wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, it accompanies its bounty with outstanding restaurants, luxurious hotels and plenty of additional attractions, from art galleries to golf courses, biking to ballooning.

The Guide to Napa Valley (available for $4.99 at the App Store or blends the reading experience of the magazine with the interactivity of a digital travel guide. Valuable prep material for any journey can be found in its rich articles on the history of California wine, the geography and appellations of Napa Valley, the characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon and how it is made. The material draws on the 30-year experience of senior editor James Laube, Wine Spectator’s lead taster for the wines of California. Of course, we offer Wine Spectator reviews of top-scoring Napa wines as well. Numbering 400 reviews, including 240 Cabernets, plus Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel, all of which can be filtered and sorted by score, price and vintage.

Once you’re there, you’ll find detailed information on more than 150 venues—wineries, restaurants, hotels and more. There’s no danger of stumbling into a second-rate destination; Wine Spectator has done the research for you. Every destination has been inspected by the magazine’s California editors, to ensure that they deliver the quality you expect. The app includes an easy-to-use interactive map, to help you plan the most efficient use of your time.

"when will Droid app be available?" —March 9, 2012 12:07 PM