Guide to Spring Mountain Wineries in Napa Valley
Spring Mountain wineries are situated in the northwestern hills of Napa Valley, directly above St. Helena. Some of the most notable producers in the area include Smith Madrone, Cain Vineyard and Paloma Vineyard.
Fantesca Estate-This is a small winery that was originally established in 2002. The winery produces a Chardonnay originating from Carneros and a Cabernet Sauvignon that hails from Spring Mountain.
Pride Mountain Vineyards-Established in 1990, by Jim and Carolyn Pride, this family based vineyard has begun what will certainly continue to be a notable family operation.
Kongsgaard-This winery is considered to be a specialist when it comes to Chardonnay. The winery also produces a very small amount of Roussanne, Viognier and Syrah. Their 2003 Napa Valley Chardonnay reached the #8 spot on the 2006 top 100 list.
Newton Vineyard-Newton Vineyard is home to a group of exceptional terraced wines.
Spring Mountain Vineyard-Spanning 226 acres, this vineyard is quite diverse with elevations ranging from a mere 400 feet above sea level to some 1,450 feet above sea level. If you are in the area, it is truly something to see.
Robert Keenan Vineyards-The land that comprises this winery was originally planted in the late 19th century. Robert Kennan purchased the property in 1974 and since that time has been able to tap the potential of this property; producing wines that are known for their bold flavors.
St. Clement-West of Highway 29, you will find St. Clement. Like many properties in the local area, St. Clement has been planted since the late 19th century with grape vines. You will find the tasting room located in a breathtaking hillside building.
Frias Family Winery-It was Manny Frias Sr.’s dream to one day retire to this beautiful region. Today his son produces a limited amount of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sherwin Family Vineyards-You will find a superb Estate Cabernet Sauvignon produced at this winery. The grapes used in the wine are all grown on the vineyard.
Smith Madrone-This winery is considered today to be one of the premier wineries in the entire Napa Valley region. The winery was originally established in 1971 by Stuart Smith.
Cain Vineyard-Established in 1989 by the Cain family, today the Cain Vineyard is well known for its Cain Five blend, which consists of a variety of traditional red Bordeaux varietals including Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Vineyard 7 & 8-When this vineyard was established it was with the goal of producing the absolute best Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon that was conceivable. Situated at an elevation of more than 2,000 feet above sea level; it is entirely possible they have reached their goal. Stop by and find out for yourself.
Stony Hill Vineyard-The 160 acres that comprise this vineyard in the northwestern hills of Napa Valley were originally purchased in 1943 by Fred and Eleanor McCrea. Four years later they began planting Chardonnay vines. This was certainly a forward looking action as only 200 acres of Chardonnay were planted throughout the entire state of California at the time.
Hollywood & Vine-Doug Barr, a former actor and director, relocated from Hollywood during the 1990s to this picturesque location.
Atchley Vineyard-In 1968, 20 acres of this lovely region were purchased by Marvin Atchley. This was the beginning of Atchley vineyard, situated on the old location of Moding Winery.
Terra Valentine-The focus of this excellent winery is a mountain grown Cabernet Sauvignon.
Barnett Vineyards-This vineyard is worth stopping by if for no other reason than the breathtaking views you can see of the valley floor. As if that were not enough; however, Barnett Vineyards, produces an excellent and intense Cabernet Sauvignon.
On ThEdge Winery-When you visit this winery, you will quickly understand its rather unique name. The winery is situated on a ridge that serves as a separation between Sonoma and Napa Valley counties.
Domaine Charbay-This winery is frequently referred to as The Still on the Hill. The family that owns the winery has been distilling liquor in Europe since the mid-18th century. Today Domaine Charbay produces rum, brandy, vodka and wine.
Paloma Vineyard-Definitely one of the most historic vineyards in the area. The land that comprises Paloma was originally planted more than 100 years ago. Although the original vineyard was neglected and abandoned for a number of years, many of the century old Zinfandel vines have survived.
Guide to Rutherford Wineries in Napa Valley
It has been argued that the wineries in Rutherford produce the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the entire state. The well drained soil in the region along with the warm temperatures in Rutherford certainly has made it an ideal location for growing this highly valued grape. Whether or not the wineries in Rutherford truly are the best in the entire state when it comes to Cabernet Sauvignon may be a matter of personal opinion. If you are going to be in Napa Valley; however, you will certainly want to make a stop by at least a few of these acclaimed wineries to find out for yourself.
Cakebread Cellars-Although the region itself is known for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cakebread Cellars has earned a reputation based on Chardonnay. Jack Cakebread, owner and founder, has been producing quality wines for more than three decades.
Honig Vineyards-The first Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes of in Rutherford were planted in 1964 by Louis Honig. In the beginning, his grapes were sold to other wineries in Napa Valley; however, today he produces his own wines.
Sullivan Vineyards-Jim Sullivan, a former graphic designer, moved to Rutherford in 1972 and established Sullivan Vineyards. His first wine was produced in 1981 and he has been producing quality wines ever since.
Caymus Vineyards-This winery specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and produces two different wines from their Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
Grgich Hills-Mike Grgich turned the wine scene upside down in 1976 when his 1973 Cheateau Montelena Chardonnay took the top prize at the Paris Wine Tasting for the white wine category. Grgich Hills was founded the following year and the wine industry in Napa Valley has never been the same.
Conn Creek Winery-Originally established in 1973, this winery received critical acclaim for their 1974 Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. You will find the winery just off Rutherford Crossroad between Silverado Trail and Highway 29.
Quintessa-Quintessa has come to be known for wine that is truly excellent as well as expensive. More than 270 of the best acreage in Rutherford comprises Quintessa.
Peju Province-Located on the east side of Highway 29, Peju Province is a select winery that restricts their work to a very small group of retailers and distributors. If you wish to purchase Peju Province wine, the best way to do so is to visit their winery in Rutherford.
Pina Napa Valley-The Pina Family is an excellent example of the long tradition of wine making in Napa Valley. Pina Napa Valley was originally established in 1981; however, the Pina family is part of a winemaking heritage that extends back several decades to St. Helena.
Provenance Vineyards-The first Cabernet Sauvignon was released by this winery in 1999; however, the property on which the winery resides was originally owned by Thomas Rutherford during the 1800s.
Alpha Omega Winery-Travel down Highway 29 and you will find Alpha Omega winery. Founded by Eric Sklar and Robin Baggett, this winery is a fine example of how hobby winemaking can become a successful venture.
Tres Sabores-Also known as Three Tastes, this winery is located in the western hills of Rutherford. A Zinfandel based blend as well as a regular Zinfandel and a Cabernet Sauvignon are produced by Tres Sabores.
Raymond Vineyards-Originally established in 1971, Raymond Vineyards is a true family operation.
Hall Wines-Two different production facilities comprise Hall Wines. One is located in St. Helena and the other in Rutherford. If you would like to visit the tasting room in Rutherford, you will need to make an appointment; however, the one in St. Helena is open to the public.
Beaucanon Winery-Beaucanon was originally established in 1978 by Jacques de Conick from the Bordeaux region of France. His family has been in the business of making wine for more than 260 years.
Staglin Family Vineyards-This has become one of the most successful operations in the entire Valley and is certainly well worth a visit.
Rubicon Estate-If you are a fan of The Godfather movies, you are already familiar with the direction work of Francis Ford Coppola. Rubicon Estate, one of the most famous wineries in Napa Valley; however, is another example of Coppola’s far ranging interests. The Rubicon, an acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon blend, is his flagship wine.
Guide To Oakville Wineries
When visiting Oakville, you will notice there are a number of wineries worth visiting. Depending on the types of wines that interest you, you may discover that some wineries are more appealing to you than others.
Miner Family Vineyards-This vineyard was established by Dave and Emily Miner in 1998. The vineyard is located in the eastern portion of Napa Valley. You will find this vineyard located just off Silverado Trail. The vineyard here is planted with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay.
PlumpJack Winery-The PlumpJack Winery was established in the 1990s as part of an investment group. The area that comprises this vineyard was founded originally in 1881; however. During the 1970s it was known as Villa Mount Eden. The majority of the vineyards here are planted in Cabernet Sauvignon.
Silver Oak Winery-For many years, Silver Oak Winery has been known for its excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. In recent years, the winery has also acquire an additional 100 acres located somewhat north of Stags Leap.
Rudd Winery-Although this winery is somewhat new, especially in comparison the large number of wineries that have been established for many years in the region, the Cabernet Sauvignon blends that are produced from Rudd Winery have already received acclaim. The winery was established in 1996 by Leslie Rudd.
Groth Vineyards-Established by Dennis and Judy Groth in 1982, this winery has developed exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon in the more than two decades it has been established. In addition to their fine Cabernet Sauvignon, Groth Vineyards also produces Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Opus One-The ‘ultra-premium’ category was invented by Opus One. The winery was established in 1979 by the well known Modavi and Rothschild families. Since that time Opus One has become one of the most well known wineries in this region. They use a blend of both modern as well as traditional farming methods that has obviously produced excellent results.
Screaming Eagle Winery-If you are looking for a truly exceptional wine, you will likely find it at Screaming Eagle. This winery produces some of the most difficult to acquire wine in California. Accordingly, it is also some of the most expensive. The winery is located on Silverado Trail.
Kelham Vineyards-Off Dwyer Road in western Oakville is Kelham Vineyards. If you are in the area, it is certainly worth a visit; however, you should be aware that the wine is actually made in Shadow Brook winery, located in St. Helena.
Dalla Valle Vineyard-This vineyard was established in 1982 by Gustav and Naoko Dalla Valle. Like many of the wines from this region, these wines are extremely difficult to acquire.
Heitz Wine Cellars-Located on Taplin Road, off Highway 29, is Heitz Wine Cellars. The original owners have since passed the winery on to their children. This is one of the most interesting as well as outstanding wineries in the region.
Robert Mondavi Winery-This one is certainly a must see. The winery was established in 1966 following a feud with Mondavi’s brother, Peter.
Far Niente-You will find Far Niente Winery just off Oakville Grade. This historic property was closed for 25 years; however, today it is open for tastings. Make sure you make an appointment in advance; however.
Cosentino Winery-This winery will certainly delight your senses with its stunning beauty and wonderful wines. It is situated north of the Yountville AVA. More than 30 different types of wine are produced by Cosentino, so it is well worth a visit.
Franciscan Oakville Estate-Although this winery was originally established in 1972; it went bankrupt. Three yeas later the property was purchased and eventually renovated by Raymond Duncan and Justin Meyer. The Peter Eckes Company purchased the property in 1978.
Paradigm Winery-Over the last several years, this winery has gained an extensive following. Only the best thirty percent of the grapes from their personal estate are vinified. As a result, this winery is home to an exceptional Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Nickel & Nickel-You will find this winery on the east side of Highway 29. Established by the owners of Far Niente in 1997, today Nickel & Nickel is one of the premier wineries in the region.
Cardinale Estate-North of the Yountville Mounts you will find Cardinale Estates. This winery is home to superb red blends that are produced using grapes from Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder and Oakville.
Guide to Howell Mountain Wineries in Napa Valley
Howell Mountain offers some of the most outstanding wines in the region, although you might easily pass up this superb region due to its location off Highway 29. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular wine in this region.
Lail Vineyards-Robin Lail and her family are able to trace their roots back to winemaking in Napa Valley for more than 100 years. Her great great uncle, Gustave Niebaum was one of the owners of Inglenook while Robin’s father, John Daniel Jr., was also an owner of Inglenook.
Howell at the Moon-This somewhat new winery is certainly worth checking out. The first vintage was produced in 2004.
Robert Craig Wine Cellars-Grapes for three very distinct vineyards are used to produce the award winning Cabernet wines from this winery.
Lamborn Family Vineyard-Only a small portion of Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon is produced by this winery, established in 1971.
Spence Vineyards-For a number of years, this winery produced only homemade, non-commercial wines. The winery eventually offered an inaugural 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon vintage to the public; however.
Summit Lake Vineyards-This winery has become quite well known for their Zinfandel; which is mountain grown. In addition, they produce a small amount of a port style Zinfandel and a Cabernet Sauvignon.
White Cottage Ranch-In the northeastern hills you will find White Cottage Ranch, where only a small port of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Sangiovese and Zinfandel blend are produced. All of the wines are handcrafted.
Bravante Vineyards-The wines produced from this vineyard are truly remarkable as a result of the extraordinary care that is given to the grapes in the Bravante Vineyards.
Cornerstone Cellars-Mountain wines have been produced by this Napa Valley winery since 1991. The founders, David Sloas and Michael Dragutsy, were originally doctors from Tennessee before they moved to Napa Valley.
La Jota Vineyard-La Jota was originally established late in the 19th century by Frederick Hess. Following the end of Prohibition, the property was purchased by Bill and Joan Smith and painstakingly revived. Today the property is owned by Jess Jackson.
Ladera Vineyards-Two mountain Cabernet Sauvignons are the focus of Ladera Vineyards.
Viader-Specializing in a blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, Viader was originally established in 1989.
O’Shaughessy Estate Winery-In the hills of Napa Valley, O’Shaughnessy Estate was established in 1996. The red volcanic soils of the area have proven to be quite successful for the venture.
Black Sears Vineyard-Only a small amount of Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are produced by this acclaimed winery.
Chateau Woltner-This ghost winery has not been refurbished and is operational again. The property was originally established during the late 19th century.
Atalon Winery-Grapes from all over the Valley are sourced by Atalon Winery. The focus of this winery is Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Although the wines from this winery are produced in only limited quantities, the prices are usually quite moderate.
DR Stephens Estate-This 35 acre estate produces Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from grapes that originate from the Cavernos AVA in Napa Valley.
Retro Cellars-The primary focus of Retro Cellars is Petite Sirah. Grapes from the Muscatine Vineyard on Howell Mountain are used to produce the wine.
Outpost Wines-A number of different wines are produced by Outpost Wines including Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Grenache. The grapes here are 100% organically farmed; making it one of the most intriguing wineries to visit if you have the opportunity.
Guide to Stags Leap Wineries in Napa Valley
As you travel through Stags Leap, you will notice that there are numerous notable wineries in this region. As with most regions in Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon rules here; although, you will find some wineries that experiment with other types as well including Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. This is one of the premier regions in the area, consisting of a number of well known wineries as well as family owned and operated wineries.
Clos du Val-Originally established in 1972 by John Goelet and Bernard Portet, this is one of the most expansive winery operations in the region as vineyards are also owned by Clos du Val in Carneros as well as Stags Leap.
Shafer Vineyards-A larger number of wineries in this region are quite excellent; however, Shafer Vineyards is considered to be a premier winery. The Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon is widely regarded to be one of the best produced throughout the Napa Valley region.
Regusci Winery-The Regusci Family has been making wine since 1932. Today; Angelo and his son produce Merlot as well as Cabernet Sauvignon.
Chimney Rock Winery-You will find Chimney Rock off Silverado Trail. This winery specializes in Bordeaux varietals, particularly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and Petit Verdot.
Quixote Winery-Only a limited amount of Petite Sirah and Cabenet Sauvignon is produced by Quixote winery; although Quixote does also produce under the Panza label as well.
Robert Sinskey Vineyards-Owner Robert Sinskey has been an important part of Carneros for a number of years before beginning production in Stags Leap. Today, his Merlot and Pinot Noir wines are well regarded. The winery produces some 25,000 cases of wine each year. If you are in the area, this winery is worth stopping by.
Stags Leap Wine Cellars-Originally founded in 1972, this winery went on to receive critical acclaim and help to move Napa Valley onto the map at the 1976 Blind Tasting in Paris. The wines of Stags Leap Wine Cellars managed to edge out competition from some of the premier Bordeaux red wines.
Steltzner Vineyards-One of many family wineries in the region, Steltzner is one of the most highly regarded wineries in the area. Founder and owner Richard Steltzner began establishing his vineyards in the area as far back as 1965.
Cliff Lede Vineyards-This breathtaking 60 acre estate is one of the most spectacular in the Stags Leap region. The Poetry Inn as well as an art gallery are also located on the property.
Hartwell Vineyards-Established in 1986, today Hartwell Vineyards produces nearly 4,000 cases of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon every year.
Baldacci Family Vineyards-Although this is a small vineyard, you will find that some of the best wines in the region hail from it including some exceptional Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer wines.
Silverado Vineyards-For more than two decades, Silverado Vineyards has been producing wines in Stags Leap. The wines from this vineyard are primarily produced using estate grown grapes. Silverado Vineyards produces Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Sangiovese wines that are all considered to be exceptional.
Reynolds Family Winery-During the time he lived in German as a youth, Steve Reynolds dreamed of the day he would start his own winery. Today he has made that dream come true with the establishment of Reynolds Family Winery.
William Hill Estate-Founded in 1978, this winery produces a wide variety of wines included Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Pine Ridge Winery-Five different AVAs within the Napa Valley contribute fruit to the Pine Ridge wine; making it truly unique. You will find a lovely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay as well as blend of Chenin Blanc and Viognier.
Stags Leap Winery-Originally established in the late 19th century, this winery has become one of the most prominent in the region today, focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah.
Pillar Rock Vineyard-This 23 acre estate was purchased by Ron and Teri Kuhn in 1995. Win production today is handled by highly acclaimed Cary Gott.