The 9 Best Wineries of Napa Valley’s Spring Mountain

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Itineraries

The 9 Best Wineries of Napa Valley’s Spring Mountain

By Hana-Lee Sedgwick March 5, 2024

Situated on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains, just west of St. Helena, is the Spring Mountain District—a serene hidden gem in Napa Valley renowned for its mountainside estates, historical wineries, exceptional wines, and breathtaking landscapes.

Fantesca Estate & Winery | Brandon Tavelli Photography
Fantesca Estate & Winery, Photo courtesy of Brandon Tavelli Photography

Established as an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1993, the Spring Mountain District is defined by its unique blend of sedimentary and volcanic rocky soils, varied terrain, high elevation, and cool, wet climate. Home to approximately 1,000 acres of vineyards, this AVA is most widely planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but you’ll also find Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Riesling, and Zinfandel grapes. Wines from this distinct part of Napa Valley are noted for their depth and complexity, balanced tannins, and age-worthiness.

Though just a few miles from downtown St. Helena, the area’s winding roads and lush forests impart a sense of secluded serenity. Its wineries, which are tucked off the road and hidden away from view, add to the allure, making a visit here feel like a discovery of Napa’s best kept secret. Ready to explore Spring Mountain? Here are nine wineries you won’t want to miss.

Photos Courtesy of Fantesca Estate & Winery

Fantesca Estate & Winery is a tranquil Spring Mountain estate known for its elegant wines, crafted by esteemed winemakers Heidi Barrett and Tony Arcudi. During a private tour and tasting, you’ll have the chance to experience the appeal of this family-owned estate, from its rolling hills of vineyards to the impressive estate cave, before sitting down for an intimate tasting of Fantesca’s acclaimed wines, including a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Russian River, Napa Valley Cabernet Blend, and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. From the personalized hospitality to the stunning wines and beautiful surroundings, there is no doubt you’ll leave here wanting to return again.

2920 Spring Mountain Road, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707)968-9229

Stony Hill
Photo courtesy of Stony Hill

Since its founding in 1952, Stony Hill Vineyard has stood as one of Napa’s pioneering post-Prohibition wineries, earning a reputation for its dedication to classic winemaking. For many years, this fabled winery’s doors remained closed to the public, shrouding the estate in an air of mystery and allure. Now, under new ownership, Stony Hill welcomes guests to its serene property for tastings at the redesigned residence, which boasts a chic, mid century modern aesthetic. Outside, the relaxed setting of the stone patio will find you savoring pristine views of Napa Valley while you taste. Stony Hill continues to honor its heritage by crafting old-world style wines, from Syrah to Riesling to Cabernet, but it’s the precise, minerally Chardonnays that helped it earn praise as “America’s greatest white wine estate.”

3331 St. Helena Highway North, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-2636

Pride Mountain Vineyards
Photo courtesy of Pride Mountain Vineyards

Perched atop Spring Mountain, Pride Mountain Vineyards is celebrated for its classically styled Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wines. The winery’s dedication to quality shines through in every bottle, making it a great spot for those seeking wines of depth and character, just without enormous price tags. Here, experiences are educational yet unpretentious, with tastings highlighting current releases and special selections. Book the Summit Room experience for a more intimate setting amidst the barrels.

4026 Spring Mountain Road, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-4949

Barnett Vineyards
Photo courtesy of Barnett Vineyards

Family-owned Barnett Vineyards is situated on the top of Spring Mountain—2,050 feet above sea level to be exact—where visitors will be rewarded with stunning views of Napa Valley below. In addition to scenic vistas from nearly every angle, expect friendly hospitality as you discover the winery’s expressive, small-lot Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc wines, each made from sustainably-grown grapes throughout Napa’s AVAs.

4070 Spring Mountain Road, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-7075

Smith-Madrone | Matthew Denny
Photo courtesy of Smith-Madrone | Matthew Denny

Tucked off Spring Mountain Road, Smith-Madrone is a long-standing winery committed to crafting 100% estate wines from its dry-farmed, mountainside vineyards. Founded in 1971 by Stuart Smith, this Spring Hill gem is set at elevations ranging between 1,300 and 2,000 feet, with vineyards predominantly positioned on steep slopes. Smith-Madrone may be renowned for producing balanced, complex wines—including a vibrant Riesling that shouldn’t be passed up—but the small winery maintains a down-to-earth and relaxed vibe, making for a welcoming experience.

4022 Spring Mountain Road, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-2283

Photos Courtesy of Spring Mountain Vineyard

Steeped in history, Spring Mountain Vineyard traces its roots back to the late 1800s, and was the first to plant Cabernet Sauvignon grapes on Spring Mountain. Though the sprawling estate was at one time three separate properties (each with their own vineyard and winery), Spring Mountain Vineyard now comprises 845 acres, with 226 acres under vine. Tastings and tours take place at the renovated Miravalle Mansion, a stately Victorian residence from the 19th century, where guests are invited to learn about the vineyard’s 150-year grape growing legacy and its efforts in sustainability through a variety of current release and library wines.

2805 Spring Mountain Road, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 967-4186

Vineyard 7 & 8
Photo courtesy of Vineyard 7 & 8

Situated on a 40-acre estate on the top of Spring Mountain, Vineyard 7 & 8 is owned by the Steffens family, who established their winery in 1999 with the aim of crafting outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines. The resulting wines are genuine expressions of the estate’s unique terroir. Visitors can enjoy said wines during intimate private tastings at the estate, where tastings are enhanced by breathtaking views of the sprawling vineyards below.

4028 Spring Mountain Road, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-9425

Behrens Family Winery
Photo courtesy of Behrens Family Winery

Behrens is a boutique winery known for producing wines from throughout Napa that are bold and expressive, much like the unique label art that adorns each bottle. Originally founded in 1993 as Behrens & Hitchcock Winery, the winery changed names when the Behrens family became the sole owners in 2005. While their portfolio changes each year, featuring a mix of blends and single varietal bottlings, you can always expect small lots of handcrafted wines that are as compelling as they are one-of-a-kind.

4078 Spring Mountain Road, St. Helena, California, 94574, (707) 963-1774

Keenan Winery
Photo courtesy of Keenan Winery

At family-owned Keenan Winery, the emphasis is on crafting premium Bordeaux-style wines that are not only pure in varietal character but also boast great aging potential. However, expect a more lithe and delicate touch compared to the typical lush style of the region. Beyond the noteworthy wines, the family is proudly dedicated to sustainability, implementing eco-friendly practices in everything from sustainable farming to powering the winery with solar energy. While the wines consistently earn high praise from top critics, tastings at Keenan remain approachable and welcoming. Guests are even welcomed to bring a picnic and savor it at the outdoor tables, surrounded by the picturesque vineyard views.

3660 Spring Mountain Road, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-9177

Conclusion:

A visit to any of these wineries offers a unique glimpse into the exclusive, captivating world of Spring Mountain’s wine scene. Whether you’re drawn here for linear Chardonnays and age-worthy Cabernets, for a more intimate, private tasting experience away from the hustle and bustle of the Valley floor, or are simply on the hunt for some outstanding views, a journey to these Spring Mountain wineries promises an unforgettable time exploring one of Napa’s most enchanting regions.