property most often referred to simply as "Pride," is one hundred and seventy
acres of simultaneously rugged mountain terrain and stunningly beautiful vistas.
With two wineries (soon to be three) on the ranch, as well as two homes, a guesthouse
and easements to two adjoining properties, the lengthy list of house numbers at
the bottom of the driveway led one guest to ask if we were selling lots! Through
the simple Iron Gate and down the single lane road to the left, the imposing ruin
of the old Summit Winery looms through the forest. Built in 1890, the sixty-four
foot square, three stories high, gravity fed winery processed fruit grown on this
and neighboring properties until Prohibition. Local lore has it that the fire
that destroyed the winery was more than just a little suspicious! Left as the
ranch dump, until Jim and Carolyn Pride spent their first dozen weekends as new
property owners hauling trash and having giant bonfires, it is now an incredibly
peaceful spot for an afternoon picnic or winemaker’s dinner. Just past the old
winery is the secluded little A-frame guesthouse – but the answer will be a polite,
"no" – it is only used for family guests! Up the hill, past the startlingly blue
reservoir, and the new Cabernet Franc terraces, the tasting room perches on a
knoll fronted by a garden of the roses that have always thrived here. Designed
to be in keeping with the tradition of casualness that pervades the ranch, this
building also houses the Sonoma County production area, administrative offices
and winery lab. Across the brick inlay that denotes the Napa/Sonoma county line,
which runs through the crush pad, the site of the Napa winery waits patiently
for building to begin. The cave entrance straddles the county line and is the
threshold of 900 feet of subterranean storage extending under the hillside and
opening out into a glass-enclosed space overlooking the vineyards and the north
end of the Napa Valley. Jim and Carolyn Pride have reason to be pleased by the
marriages of restoration and innovation and form and function that have been united
to create a beautiful environment in which to work and play.
At Pride Mountain Vineyards the rigorous mountainous growing environment intensifies
the varietal definition and enhances the structure of the wines we produce. Vineyard
blocks have been planted to optimize the vines’ relationships to our various exposures
and the geological mosaic that is our piece of Spring Mountain. Human sensitivity
unites these elements to establish a fine balance.
MERLOT. Rich and sturdy, deep and dark, our Merlots offer aromas reminiscent
of blackberry, currant and sweet clove. Traces of Cabernet Sauvignon are included
in the blend to add complexity and complete the tannin spectrum.
CABERNETSAUVIGNON. Cabernet enjoys the rocky volcanic soils which
darken the wine’s color and create cassis and chocolate flavor elements. 100%
varietal, these wines are enjoyable in their youth and will age beautifully for
CABERNET FRANC. Sun exposure on the ripening fruit brings out the character
of blueberry and green tea which is married with fine French oak. Cabernet Sauvignon
is also blended for flavor, complexity and structural contribution.
VIOGNIER. At full ripeness, the Viognier grape evolves seductive aromas
of fresh peaches, citrus blossoms and jasmine. The alpine environment and 2000
foot elevation preserve the natural acidity which provides the elegant balance
and long lingering finish.
CHARDONNAY. Barrel fermentation, full malo-lactic fermentation and sur
lie aging contribute character to this ripe, rich Chardonnay. Flavors of butterscotch
and toasty oak fill the palate and linger long in the finish.
RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON. Portions of the richest Cabernet Sauvignon
ripening lots are blended and allowed to barrel age for an additional six months.
These 100% varietals are then bottle aged for eight months prior to their release.
RESERVE CLARET. Again, the richest ripening lots of Cabernet Sauvignon and
Merlot are blended and given six months additional barrel aging. The Claret is
also blended with traces of Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot for their contribution
to complexity and texture. Release also follows eight months of bottle aging.
Pride Mountain Vineyards / 4026 Spring Mountain Rd. / St. Helena, CA 94574