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Once you go up Spring Mountain, you’ll never want to come down. The variety and quality of the wines made here are stunning, and largely undiscovered by tourists. Pack a picnic lunch (Sunshine Foods at the base of the mountain has you covered) and head up the tree-draped trail for some seriously great wine. Here is a list of the top eight wineries not to miss on your Spring Mountain weekend.

Day 1: Top of the Mountain

Napa/Sonoma Split

Image Source: Yelp and TripAdvisor

Pride Mountain Vineyards
4026 Spring Mountain Rd
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-4949
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 157 reviews
Reservation: Required
Directions: Head north from Napa on Highway 29 for 26 miles. Turn left onto Madrona Avenue, then right onto Spring Mountain Road. Drive 7 miles up the winding mountain road, and right after you’ve passed the peak, as you begin to descend into Sonoma Valley, you’ll see a sign for Pride Mountain on the right.

Perched at the top of the mountain with one foot in Napa County and one in Sonoma County (check out the line dividing the crush pad into two counties), Pride Mountain is a must-see. Tasty wines are made from both sides of the mountain, and their Cabernet Franc is one of the best to be found. Insider tip: Be sure to take the barrel tour for an inside look into the operation (and maybe some barrel samples!).

Views for Days

Image Source: Barnett Vineyards

Barnett Vineyards
4070 Spring Mountain Rd
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-7075
Yelp: 5 stars, 40 reviews
Reservation: Required
Directions: Turn left back onto Spring Mountain Road and drive for less than a mile. You’ll see a sign for Barnett on the left, follow the signs down the dirt road until you reach the winery.

If you’re looking for quaint, you’ve found it. The low key tasting room next to the wine cellar is cozy, but the real treat is visiting the glass door-enclosed cave and then settling down around a shaded table just outside the cave entrance, overlooking a spectacular valley view, to taste through their delicious array of wines. The wines benefit from the steep hills around the winery, as the challenging conditions and good soil drainage produce grapes that are full of flavor. Insider tip: Try the Rattlesnake Cabernet Sauvignon. You probably haven’t heard of it, but it will steal your heart.

Kicking it Old School

Image Source: Smith Madrone Vineyards

Smith Madrone Vineyards
4022 Spring Mountain Rd
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-2283
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 25 reviews
Reservation: Required
Directions: Get back onto Spring Mountain Road, take a left at the sign for Smith Madrone and drive to the end of the dirt road.

Travel back in time to the Napa Valley of the 1970s at brothers Stu and Charles Smith’s mountaintop winery, named for the giant trees surrounding the vineyards. The tasting room is inside a rustic barn, the views are endless, and the wines are classic. In addition to a well-structured Cabernet Sauvignon, they may make the only Napa Valley Riesling that can age for 10-plus years. Insider tip: Wander up the dirt road above the winery to the grassy overlook that gives you incredible views from one end of the valley to the other.

Farmers to Winemakers

Image Source: Yelp

Schweiger Vineyards & Winery
4015 Spring Mountain Rd
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-4882
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 55 reviews
Reservation: Required
Directions: Turn left back onto Spring Mountain Road and drive a few hundred feet until you come to Schweiger’s marked gate on the left.

The Schweiger family has been farming Spring Mountain since 1984, first selling their high quality grapes to other wineries and then making their own wine beginning in 1994. Their farmer beginning carries through to today, where the terroir of Spring Mountain shines through the excellent wines. The sleek wooden tasting room overlooks rows of vines that undulate down to the valley floor, giving you one of the best views on the mountain. Insider tip: Ask to be seated on the balcony overlooking the sloping vineyards. It doesn’t get much more Wine Country than this.

Day 2: Mid to Lower Mountain

King of the Mountain

Image Source: Vineyard 7&8 and Yelp

Vineyard 7&8
4028 Spring Mountain Rd
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-9425
Yelp: 5 stars, 4 reviews
Reservation: Required
Directions: Drive north from Napa on Highway 29 for 6 miles. Turn left onto Madrona Avenue, then right onto Spring Mountain Road. Drive 5 miles up the winding mountain road, then turn right to stay on Spring Mountain Road and the winery will be on your right.

One of the most reviewed and highest scoring Spring Mountain wineries in history, the Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons are stunning now. The vines for these wines are over 30 years old, giving depth and complexity to the wines they yield. For a secluded experience that includes breathtaking views, make an appointment well in advance. Insider tip: Ask about a tour of the vineyards or cellar when you arrive, if harvest isn’t in full swing they’re often happy to oblige.

Tranquil Terroir

Image Source: Yelp

Robert Keenan Winery
3660 Spring Mountain Rd
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-9177
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 44 reviews
Directions: Turn right to get back onto Spring Mountain Road, then bear left to stay on it. Drive half a mile, then look for signs on your left.

Robert Keenan founded the winery in 1974 based on the steep, rocky vineyards of Spring Mountain. The four classic wines produced on the property—Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot—are all exquisite representations of Spring Mountain. Make an appointment to visit the newly completed tasting room (designed by known architect Sandy Walker, who also happens to be Michael Keenan’s father-in-law), and experience the classic tranquility and intimacy of Spring Mountain. Insider tip: Give their Mernet a try, a unique blend of half Merlot and half Cabernet (Sauvignon or Franc), with different vineyards providing the fruit each year.

Magic in the Glass and on the Ground

Image Source: TripAdvisor

Spring Mountain Vineyard
2805 Spring Mountain Rd
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 967-4188
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 43 reviews
Reservation: Required
Directions: Turn left to head down Spring Mountain Road, drive three miles then look for the winery on your right.

One of the original Spring Mountain wineries, the estate is as beautiful as the structured, balanced wines. Known for their top-tier Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain also excels at every other grape they try their hand at. Notably, the winery’s vineyards extend up the mountainside, gaining over 1,000 feet in elevation, giving great range of character to the wines. Insider tip: Make sure to book the Estate Tasting so you can taste inside the 100 year old Victorian mansion surrounded by a picturesque botanical garden.

Wines Made for Food

Image Source: Yelp

Behrens Family Winery
639 Main St.
St. Helena, CA 94574
(917) 842-0976
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 23 reviews
Reservations: Required
Directions: Turn right onto Spring Mountain Drive, head down the mountain for less than a mile, then take a left onto Madrona Avenue, then a right onto Highway 29 (Main Street). Drive 1 mile and the tasting room on the right.

Behrens was founded by culinary power couple Les Behrens and Lisa Drinkward, whose restaurant Folie Douce received a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the eclectic wine list. The winery, of course makes, wines that are worthy of a five-course meal. Sample the wines in the adorable yellow house that serves as their tasting room at the base of the mountain. Insider tip: The tasting room is within 3 blocks of 15 fantastic St. Helena restaurants, so time your visit accordingly and grab a bite to eat afterwards.

Spring Mountain’s removed location and winding roads mean it’s relatively undiscovered by the crowds of visitors to Napa Valley, so book yourself a few appointments up on the mountain and enjoy a day of peaceful quiet and incredible wines. Already have a favorite from the list? Vote for it below!

1 Comment;

  1. MJC

    Huh? No Sherwin Family Vineyards? You guys really missed the boat by not including them….


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