Many people visit Napa Valley without ever setting foot on some of its best terroir. Valley floor wineries are so easily accessible that tourists don’t often leave the comfortable surrounds of Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail.
But many of the valley’s best wines don’t come from the flat bits. Instead they come from the hillsides above the valley. Which is why when I get asked where to visit in Napa, I invariably send friends and family up the winding road onto Spring Mountain.
Napa’s Spring Mountain District features steep wooded slopes dotted with little vineyards. No big producers can be found on Spring Mountain, only boutique wineries, farming by hand in the light filtering through the spruce and redwoods.
There are around 30 wineries in the Spring Mountain District AVA, and together they farm about 1000 acres of grapes which face mostly east, and sit, depending on their location, above the fog but in the shadows of the afternoon heat — offering long, and slow ripening that makes for really excellent wines.
I encourage everyone to visit Spring Mountain if you can (especially now as Napa needs tourist dollars more than ever) but if you can’t go to the mountain, well don’t worry — the mountain is coming to you.
On November 16, the wineries of the Spring Mountain District AVA are coming to San Francisco to showcase their hillside wines in all their glory. You can wander from table to table getting a sense of what the place tastes like while admiring views of the bay from the Presidio’s Golden Gate Club.
It’s a rare chance to taste a lot of really excellent Napa wines that don’t often go on public display. The wineries scheduled to be pouring are:
Behrens Family Vineyard
Cain Vineyard & Winery
Castellucci Napa Valley
Pride Mountain Vineyards
School House Vineyard
Sherwin Family Vineyards
Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery
Spring Mountain Vineyard
Stony Hill Vineyard
Vineyard 7 & 8.
Some of the wineries will have wines available for purchase.
2017 Spring Mountain Harvest Celebration
Thursday, November 16, 2017
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
The Golden Gate Club
135 Fisher Loop
San Francisco, CA 94129 (directions)
Tickets are $75.00 per person and must be purchased in advance.
And remember my tips for optimum enjoyment at public tastings: wear dark, comfortable clothes; get a good night’s sleep; come with food in your belly; drink lots of water; and SPIT if you want to learn anything! Finally, ladies (and gents) please skip the perfume and aftershave for the day.