The Spring Mountain Appellation
Spring Mountain District — above the Napa Valley — is a place of individuals, more often than not, of couples, of families, of stubborn, independent people with passion, dreams and a whole lot of energy.
Spring Mountain, officially established as an AVA (American Viticulture Area) in 1993, was described 25 years ago by a prominent wine writer as “probably more responsible than any other Napa hillside for creating the mystique of ‘mountain grapes.’ ”
This mountain appellation is defined by vineyards that range from small to smaller, often hand-tilled on terraces and sloping meadows, and wineries hidden from view among dark forests and steep winding roads. Over the years, despite its limited space and remoteness, the appellation has produced an abundance of wines acclaimed worldwide for the unmistakable intense flavor and delicate, balanced tannins that are now the signature of Spring Mountain wines.
The appellation lies above the town of St. Helena on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains that separate Napa Valley from Sonoma Valley and the Santa Rosa Plain. Encompassed within its bounds are about 8,600 acres, of which about 1,000 are planted to vineyards. Currently the region has just over 30 vineyard / wineries.
Historically, the name Spring Mountain has been used in a regional context and does not refer to the name of a peak or prominent point. The area has numerous springs, and is drained by several small streams.
The appellation boundaries extend from the top of the ridgeline on the western edge, which traces the Sonoma/Napa County border, down to the 400-foot contour line at the eastern base of the hillside (generally considered the dividing line between hillside and valley vineyards in Napa Valley). The southern boundary is Sulphur Creek and one of its tributaries, while the northern boundary is Ritchie Creek. Elevations range from 400 to 2,600 feet, with a predominantly eastern exposure.