Natives of Clayton in San Francisco's East Bay, Steve and Linda Sherwin yearned for a quieter, more relaxed setting to raise their three children. A series of weekend visits to the Napa Valley in 1996 finally uncovered a thirty acre property near the top of Spring Mountain. The property featured a beautiful home and a serene lake but the real prize was the three acres of mixed old vine Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. These three acres are in the same location that was originally part of a 500 acre estate producing sought-after grapes in the late 1800's through Prohibition.
With a a successful career in construction development behind him and a true hands-on approach, Steve began clearing and planting vineyards around the three original acres virtually by himself. He planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot and finished thirteen acres later. The new acreage is actually broken up into three vineyards named after the children: Jenny, Lindsey and Matthew.
As the new vineyards come into production, Steve and Linda hope to produce approximately 2,500 cases of estate bottled Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Just completed is the construction of a new, gravity-flow winery with dramatic views of the estate.
Sherwin Family Vineyards released their first wine, a 1996 Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon in late 1999. A scant 140 cases were produced and quickly discovered by several local restaurants and retailers. Marked by the firm backbone of Spring Mountain grown fruit, the 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon shows remarkable density and concentration for a first release. Produced, cellared and bottled on the property at an existing winery building, Steve employed traditional winemaking methods of fermenting in one-ton bins, along with hand punch downs and hand racking. Steve and Linda employed traditional distribution practices as well, delivering all of their first vintage to accounts by themselves.