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Spring Mountain District AVA

Napa Valley

Located at the low point in the Mayacamas Mountains on the western side of the Napa Valley in California is the Spring Mountain District AVA. The Spring Mountain District was awarded AVA status in 1993. Covering 8,600 acres of rolling vineyards, scrubland, and forest in the hills just south of the Diamond Mountain District and Calistoga, about 1,000 acres are planted to vineyards.

The elevations range from 400 feet to 2,600 feet above sea level, with most of the vineyards planted between 1300 feet and 200 feet. This lifts them out of the stifling air, which collects on the valley floor on summer afternoons. The vines here do not benefit from the cool damp air and fog that rolls up the valley from San Pablo Bay in the morning and early evenings.

Rocky, infertile slopes provide the perfect level of stress for vines forcing them to dig deep strong root systems. Soils here are derived equally from Franciscan sedimentary rock—a blend of sandstone and conglomerates—and Sonoma volcanic rocky soils. This blend distinguishes the region from adjacent mountain areas. In the Diamond Mountain area soils are almost entirely of volcanic origin, whereas in the Mount Veeder area soils are primarily sedimentary.

The first documented planting in this region dates back to 1874 when Charles Lemme cultivated a 25 acre La Perla Vineyard just south of York Creek. In the 1880s, Jacob and Frederick Beringer opened their historic winery near St. Helena and planted a vineyard on Spring Mountain.

90% of wines produced in the Spring Mountain District vineyards are red. Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon is the main attraction of this small wine region. The wines grown here often have softer tannins, while still exhibiting Napas big fruit flavors. Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and small plantings of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah and even a little Pinot Noir are the other red varieties that exist in the Spring Mountain District.

Of the 10% left for white wines, a majority is planted to Chardonnay. The rest is planted to Sauvignon Blanc and White Riesling. The White Riesling was once the most commonly seen white grape in the Spring Mountain District until 1980, but now only a few rows of the vines remain.

We are thrilled to feature a number of wines from this region in our monthly wine club shipment. Cheers!