History of Spring Mountain, St. Helena

History of Spring Mountain, St. Helena

When we think of mountains and mountain grapes we often look for a peak to reference and vines growing along terraced slopes.  While Spring Mountain has over 30 vineyards and vines planted on beautiful slants, it derives its name from a group of springs and mountains that form a boundary between Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley.   Sherwin Family is proud to be a Spring Mountain winery.

History of Spring Mountain, St. Helena

Nestled on the side of the Mayacamas Mountains, above the scenic town of St. Helena is Spring Mountain, an area that became an American Viticulture Area (AVA) in 1993. The Spring Mountain area has been known for producing fine vintages for more than 25 years.

First Spring Mountain Winery

Wine lovers first started planting Spring Mountain grapes in 1874, when Charles Lemme led a small wave of growers into production. He started with a 25-acre operation that was known as La Perla Vineyard. Less than a decade later, the Beringers expanded to Spring Mountain from their existing St. Helena operation.

Spring Mountain in the News

Spring Mountain wine started making the news when San Francisco banker, Tiburcio Parrott, established Miravalle and built a Victorian-style home in the area. When asked about his plans, the banker publicly declared that he would be producing world-class wines on his rocky, inclined soil. Though the statement drew laughs in 1893, Miravalle won a gold medal at the World's Fair. Today, Miravalle is part of Spring Mountain Vineyard.

Growing Grapes in Spring Mountain

Out of the 8,600-acres encompassed in the Spring Mountain District AVA, 1,000 acres already have wine grapes growing in neatly terraced rows. Nestled on the hillsides, these vineyards often seem far away from the traditional image of a wine-making operation, and the forest surroundings provide privacy and mystique. This area enjoys some of the lowest average temperatures in the region, along with plenty of moisture. This combination of low temperatures and moisture gives grapes time to go through veraison, the process of ripening.

Award Winning Wines

When the Spring Mountain area was recognized as an AVA in 1993, it invited enthusiasts to explore and invest in new vineyards. In 1996, Sherwin Family Vineyards was established and our first wine was released, a Cabernet Sauvignon, three years later. Be sure to schedule a visit and treat yourself to world-class wines in an idyllic setting overlooking our vineyards, lake, and fountain. Please call us at 707-963-1154 or click here to make your tasting appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Event: A taste of Spring Mountain Wineries come to San Francisco

Event: A taste of Spring Mountain Wineries come to San Francisco

For wine lovers like myself, the Spring Mountain Harvest Celebration is an event worth looking forward to. We, along with many of our fellow Spring Mountain wineries will be in attendance on November 16th in San Francisco. This celebration has been an entire year in the making, from the cool weather pruning through veraison, followed by the critical vinting process.

Celebrating Spring Mountain Wines

The Spring Mountain Harvest Celebration is the culmination of a season’s hard work. Sherwin Family Vineyards along with other vintners from the Spring Mountain district will come together to showcase our wines at The Golden Gate Club in San Francisco on November 16th from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Spring Mountain district in St. Helena and the many boutique wineries on the mountain.

At $75 per person, this event is a great way to taste wines from an amazing list of wineries, as the average tasting fees range from $25 pp up to $75+ per person.

Below is a list of the Spring Mountain wineries that will be pouring select library wines, current release wines and offering barrel samples.

  • Barnett Vineyards
  • Behrens Family Vineyard
  • Cain Vineyard & Winery
  • Castellucci Napa Valley
  • Fantesca Estate
  • Keenan Winery
  • Luscher-Ballard Vineyard
  • Paloma Vineyard
  • Pride Mountain Vineyards
  • School House Vineyard
  • Schweiger Vineyards
  • Sherwin Family Vineyards
  • Smith-Madrone
  • Spring Mountain Vineyard
  • Stony Hill Vineyard
  • Terra Valentine
  • Vineyard 7 & 8

Experience Sherwin Family Vineyards

Sherwin Family Vineyards, home of the patriotic pour, is a boutique winery nestled on Spring Mountain in St. Helena. If you have any questions about our award winning wines or would like to visit our tasting rooms please contact us at Sherwin Family Vineyards.

Next Generation Wine Event in San Francisco

Next Generation Wine Event in San Francisco

The stages of berry development

There's never a dull moment in the life of a vintner. Our yearly harvests follow a perpetual guessing game of whether the right amount of rainfall and supplemental irrigation will nourish our vines at just the right time to yield the perfect grapes for an exceptional vintage. This delicate balance sometimes feels like walking a tightrope while simultaneously gazing into a crystal ball. But now, the 2017 harvest season in St. Helena is within sight, and the view looks spectacular. Our grapes have experienced quite a season this year, and now they're in the maturing process of veraison.

What is Veraison?

It marks the beginning of the final stage in the maturing process for grapes -- when the berries begin to change color and start to soften.

Veraison is the culmination of these stages:

Stage 1 begins at bud break in spring and goes to bloom time, before the fruit forms on the vine. The vines' water needs are relatively low during this stage, depending in large part on the stored soil moisture from winter rains. We had so much rain this past winter (after droughts in recent years) that the Napa River reached flood levels. This resulted in a higher water table than we've had in a while, which increased the soil's stored moisture levels, facilitated vine turgor, and beautifully set the stage for healthy vegetative growth.

Stage 2 begins when the grape flowers fade, and the fruit forms. It's a period of rapid growth when the grapes are firm and green. The organic acids are high, and the sugar content is low.

Stage 3 is a bit of a lag phase, as grape growth slows down and the acid level reaches its maximum concentration. Too much irrigation during this stage can stress our vines, so our viticulturists must monitor watering needs precisely.

Stage 4 is the final stage -- from veraison to harvest. During this stage, viticulturists and vintners can sense a palpable and growing excitement. Our grapes begin to lose their acidic content as the sugar concentrations accumulate. As the grapes begin to soften, they also change color. By taking advantage of our location atop Spring Mountain, I designed and constructed our winery as a gravity-flow facility. As soon as we harvest our grapes, the gravity-directed process needs minimal intervention to process the fruit gently. The result is a superior juice because of the reduced tannic acid levels.

2017 Sherwin Family Vineyards Wine Forecast

With our grapes transitioning from veraison to harvest our grapes are poised to make 2017 one of our best years!

If you have any questions about the wine making process at our St Helena winery or would like to visit our tasting rooms please contact us at Sherwin Family Vineyards. 

Sherwin Family Vineyards donates barrel of 2015 Estate Cab for Auction Napa Valley

Sherwin Family Vineyards donates barrel of 2015 Estate Cab for Auction Napa Valley

Auction Napa Valley, the world's leading charity wine event, is just days away, and we're excited to participate this year. Our Sherwin 2015 Estate Cabernet is among other great, notable wines included in the barrel auction on Friday, June 2 from 11am to 3pm.

Auction Napa Valley Benefits Various Nonprofits

Fortunately for wine lovers who can't make the trip to Napa, part of the auction is electronic and you can bid from anywhere in the world. Pre-registration is easy, and your participation will contribute to the well-being of an entire region.

Auction Napa Valley was first conceived in 1981 by winemakers in the area as a fundraiser for health and education non-profit organizations in the county. The event supports health services for residents of all ages and educational advancement for children. To date more than $170 million has been raised to benefit 25 local nonprofits in the 36 years the auction has existed.

How The Auction Works

Since all bidding is electronic, we suggest you download the apps a bit early to be sure everything is operating properly. This year's barrel auction offers 108 lots of wine futures by the case and is on Friday, June 2, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Inglenook in Rutherford.

Step 1: Register to bid at Auction Napa Valley

Step 2: Choose how you want to bid

Step 3: Review the barrel bidding rules

Step 4: Set your calendar appointment to Friday, June 2 at 11am to bid

We love the excitement of the live sale! The opportunity to taste Napa’s best wines straight from the barrels coupled with excited bidding gives bidders a shot at some of the best wines in the world. The top 10 bidders in each lot win a case of wine from that barrel (unfortunately, they don't get to keep the barrel).

In the barrel auction, the majority are Cabernets and Chardonnays as the valley's soil produces very high quality grapes of those varieties, but the various vineyards grow about three-dozen different varietals. Some barrels will be wine of purely one variety while others will be blends. The Sherwin 2015 Estate Cab is a blend of 90 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 8 percent Merlot and 2 percent Cabernet Franc in the style of wines created in the Bordeaux region of France.

In addition to the barrel auction, there will be almost 40 “Only In Your Dreams” live auction lots of collectible, rare Napa Valley wines, and almost 200 lots in a global E-Auction.

Celebrating At Meadowood

Following the auction is a celebration at Meadowood Napa Valley, featuring a meal designed by Francis Coppola and prepared by an incredible culinary staff.

If you are able, please join us – in person or via Internet for Auction Napa Valley. It's a wonderful opportunity to purchase some great wines, donate generously to a community and enjoy a fun weekend.  If you are unable to attend and would like to taste our collection of wines, please contact us or call us at (707) 963-1154 to schedule a tasting room visit.

You know you want to

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