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Napa - Spring Mountain Wineries - Recommendations?

CarlieInLA Nov 18, 2011 03:51 PM

Hello -

Heading to Napa next week and wanting to try some new wineries, we have been to many around Napa so I was thinking to head up Spring Mountain. Based on some research, here are some we are considering, can you please give me any feedback?

Pride - Def want to go here
Smith Madrone
Any others?

Also considering visiting:

We like strong reds, cabs, zins, pinots. Any others you recommend in that area?

Thank you!

  1. w
    whiner Nov 19, 2011 10:26 AM

    >>If you had to pick 3 what would be your top choices? I have appointments at several but want to narrow down, as we also want to go down to the St Helena area as well.


    Pride. You go there because it is Pride. Also, they do have some good juice.

    Apart from that, there are a lot of 'hard to get into' places up there that people sometimes can get into. Paloma, Behrens and Hitchcock, for example. Most notably I would try to make an appointment with Sherwin Vineyards and Realm, I believe Realm is operated out of Sherwin.

    I had a lot of fun at Schwaiger when I went tasting there. The wines weren't the best (though their Zinfandel Port was excellent) but I just thought the people were great and inviting.

    I found Barnett beautiful but underwhelming, Guilliams was too bretty for me, overall...

    Just my $0.02

    1. s
      SF Brother Nov 18, 2011 11:38 PM

      Terra Valentine has a very good affordable Cab

      Gulliams is a small family I think they only do 2 reds

      our fav is Keenan love their host Laura only wish they would do a Port style

      Pride is good but expensive great place for the view and picnic lunch

      with advanced notice set yourself up at Domain Charbay,Marco is a great host as well they do very interesting things including very high end Whisky which they produce in ukaia I think and rum as well as several really good vodkas but on the property its more ports and other types of wines

      enjoy and if you like ports also try Pragers off of Hwy 29

      8 Replies
      1. re: SF Brother
        ceekskat Nov 19, 2011 10:13 AM

        Based on board rec, we went to Keenan for the first time last month & loved it. Several factors made this a great stop on Spring Mountain: laid back, friendly, nice cheese & crackers, wide price range, 7 or 8 different pours, only $10 pp (refunded with purchase of bottle). We enjoyed their merlot, cab franc, cab & syrah. They were out of the mernet : (

        We've also enjoyed Pride & Cain in the past.

        1. re: ceekskat
          CarlieInLA Nov 19, 2011 08:03 PM

          Thank you! Keena sounds great, also Domain Charbay. So many new places, might be hard for us to narrow down!

          1. re: CarlieInLA
            HTP Nov 20, 2011 01:46 PM

            For us, Smith-Madrone is a favorite to take visitors. We love the rustic, authentic, hands-on atmosphere and the wines are delicious and a very good value. You taste with the winemaker rather than an employee. It is like going back to the roots of small wineries in Napa Valley. Their Riesling is wonderful so don't miss getting some if you can. They run out quickly. I would say though that it will be much more enjoyable on a sunny day and if it rains
            it will be ... damp. Well, if not this time, be sure and try it at another time.

            Corison is not set up with a big fancy tasting room but their red wines are among the very best in the Valley. If I were to spring for an expensive bottle of Cabernet today it would definitely be a Corison. Especially if you can put it up. They age beautifully unlike most of those made in the newer high-alchohol style. I think you are wise to include them in your trip.

            I hope you have a great time!

            1. re: HTP
              CarlieInLA Nov 21, 2011 10:05 AM

              Thank you! I just found out that Keenan is closed on Friday so maybe Smith-Madrone is a good alternative.
              We have appointments at Pride and Schwaiger, so looking for one more.
              Thanks for the Corison info as well. I do have an appointment there, so if time permits we will def check it out.

              1. re: CarlieInLA
                CarlieInLA Nov 21, 2011 02:49 PM

                Smith Madrone is also closed on Friday :-(
                Any other thoughts?

                1. re: CarlieInLA
                  alfairfax Nov 21, 2011 03:22 PM

                  Will suggest again: Terra Valentine for Cabs.

                  1. re: alfairfax
                    CarlieInLA Nov 21, 2011 04:04 PM

                    Thank you, we weren't able to get an appointment that worked with the other timing.
                    Thinking we might have to just stick to Pride and Schweiger. Some of the others had tastings starting at $60, which is a bit steep for us.

                    1. re: CarlieInLA
                      whiner Nov 22, 2011 02:14 PM

                      Ritchie Creek is an interesting experience, I don't think they charge a tasting fee at all. It really is just a shack in the woods. I don't love their wines, but I'm definitely happy I've visited, so maybe try that.

      2. a
        alfairfax Nov 18, 2011 05:17 PM

        We have had really nice tastings at Terra Valentine--cabs and sauv blanc. Great setting, enjoyable wines. As you may know already, Spring Mountain wineries require advance appointment for tastings. Wonderful part of Napa.

        1. maria lorraine Nov 18, 2011 04:35 PM

          Spring Mountain Vineyards

          As you know, Corison and MIlat are on the valley floor and not in the Spring Mountain District.

          The fruit, the wine, from the Spring Mountain District is distinct: clear and direct fruit, with a lively acidity. Delicious.

          Go here for lots of info:

          Spring Mountain Vineyard
          2805 Spring Mountain Rd, Saint Helena, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: maria lorraine
            CarlieInLA Nov 18, 2011 09:55 PM

            If you had to pick 3 what would be your top choices? I have appointments at several but want to narrow down, as we also want to go down to the St Helena area as well.


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