Currently known for its mountain-grown Cabernets, this region’s first premium wines were whites, particularly Chardonnay and Riesling. The vineyards in this part of Napa County are hand-tilled and range from small to smaller. Grapes are handpicked on steep, east-facing terraces of the Mayacamas Mountains. Vineyards here are situated from 400-2,600 feet above sea level. Due to the higher elevations of the vineyards, fog is not a factor here like it is in much of Napa Valley. However, an afternoon breeze from San Pablo Bay cools the vines in the afternoon. Days are cooler and nights are warmer than on the valley floor. The growing season is long, ranging from mid-March to as late as November. Spring Mountain District’s wine-growing history reaches back as far as the Civil War. By 1874, the legendary Beringer brothers had a vineyard planted here, and in 1893 Tiburcio Parrot’s Miravalle Vineyards won a gold medal for Spring Mountain at the World’s Fair. This area continues to produce quality wines and faces a solid future as one of Napa’s premier wine-growing appellations.
While the early days of Napa Valley always mentioned the dust in summer, Rutherford Dust referred to an entirely different context. During a recent tasting in Napa Valley held by the Rutherford Dust Society a wide wide range of Rutherford wines shed new light on the long term meaning.
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