School House Vineyard
Spring Mountain Rd.
St. Helena, CA 94574
t: (707) 963-9001
The Vineyard is nestled among the cool, lushly forested slopes of Spring Mountain, where Langtry and Spring Mountain Roads intersect, at an elevation of approximately 1500 feet. The vineyard takes its name from the 1880s one-room school house, which graced the property until it was consumed by fire in the mid 1980s.
That school house has lent its name to this fascinating and unique property, which has quietly produced very small quantities of some of the most sought after Napa Valley wines since the mid-1950s. Steeped in Napa Valley history, School House is the ultimate cult wine producer, cult before cult was cool!
In 1940, John’s father purchased the property of 160 gross acres, of which 35 acres were un-irrigated vineyard. In 1940 the only operating vineyards on Spring Mountain were Herman Hummel’s Vineyard (now York Creek), Jerry Draper’s vineyard that was originally known as La Perla and is now a part of Spring Mountain Vineyard, School House Vineyard, the Jos. Volpi Vineyard located directly above School House, and the Summit Vineyard (now Pride Mountain).
During Prohibition followed by the Great Depression many families moved away and abandoned their vineyards and prune orchards. Following the Great Depression, the farmland on Spring Mountain could be purchased for $25 per acre – top price.
Today the second generation, John M. Gantner and Nancy Walker, tackle all of the vineyard operations at School House Vineyard where they make their home. John and Nancy implement the dry-farming technique in order to intensify the character of the wines, sacrificing quantity in order to maximize quality.
Their passion for the grapes they nurture coupled with their strong connection with the land is beautifully revealed in the expressions of the wines produced from the vineyard.
Each of the School House wines is vinified in the caves of neighboring Pride Mountain Vineyards.