In a effort to visit all 600 Napa Valley wineries(300 and counting) and eat at all 3000 San Francisco restaurants(700 and counting), my wife Linda and I recently did a "Day Trip" to charming St. Helena.
St. Helena is the home of Spring Mountain Vineyard which is off the beaten path. The picturesque hillside winery sits on 845 acres of beauty and is close in size to New York's Central Park. The 225 acres of vineyard extends in altitude from 400 to1600 feet and produces some fabulous wines. The owners aim is to produce wines that are immediately drinkable, but also age-worthy. The grounds are meticulously attended to among the caves, vineyards, greenhouse and gardens. The Victorian home on the property was used as a backdrop for the soap opera Falcon Crest of the 1980's.
Valli Ferrell, Public Relations Director, and Lindsay McArdle, Tasting Room Manager, were our gracious hosts. From the web site, "Winemaker Susan Doyle collaborates with world renowned French Bordeaux experts to craft both European-style wines with the subtlety, complexity and long life of France's grand chateaux as well as classic Napa Valley Cabernets."
Having recently been to Bordeaux, these wines are elegant and rival many of the wines we tasted in France. Our stand up tasting was outside followed by sitting in comfortable Adirondack chairs overlooking the serene and magical Spring Mountain property.
We tasted reds including the Elivette signature wine, 2011 Pinot Noir and 2008 and 2001 Cabernet. All of them were great but we especially enjoyed the 2008 Estate Cabernet and 2001 Cabernet Library selection. The 2008 is a full bodied blend of Cabernet, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot and delivers a mix of black and red berries, plums, cranberries with a chocolate and spice finish.
The 2001 was a blend of 85%Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 5% Petite Verdot. Both of these estate wines were perfectly blended, rich and full of flavor. We made sure that we took a bottle of each back to Danville to enjoy with our foodie and wine friends.
After our tasting, we went to downtown St. Helena and enjoyed shopping at several of the creative stores followed by lunch at Market on Main Street that offered a classic soup and prime rib sandwich with a homemade cookie. The 100 year old Mahogany bar was also very impressive and gives a warm feeling to the bustling restaurant filled with happy patrons.
We highly recommend a visit to Spring Mountain Vineyard for a private tasting of their estate wines and to enjoy the elegant and peaceful setting of heavenly grapes and gardens.
To Make a tasting reservation go to:
or call 707-967-4188 M-F
707-967-4186 Saturday and Sunday