is a family-owned historic estate, vineyard and winery located on the western
edge of St. Helena in Napa Valley. The Victorian home, classic gardens, and
vineyard that comprise the forty-six acre estate were established in 1882. Owner
Mary Novak has lived at Spottswoode since 1972 when she and her late husband,
Jack, moved their family to St. Helena. Mary established the winery in 1982
and today two of her five children - Beth Novak Milliken and Lindy Novak - assist
her in its operation.
The Estate Vineyard
The estate vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon (33 acres), Cabernet Franc (1.5 acres) and Sauvignon Blanc (2.5 acres). David Abreu has managed the vineyard since 1985 and is assisted by Jose Luis Lopez, who has been with Spottswoode since 1982. Their combined 35 years of experience lends an historical perspective and an innate knowledge of the estate vineyard that allows for great quality and consistency. We have farmed organically since 1985, and we have been certified by the CCOF since 1990. Our vineyard offers an ideal terroir for the growing of wine grapes. According to Deborah Elliot-Fisk, Professor and Chair of the Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology Department at UC Davis, the characteristics of an ideal vineyard location include deep soils with good drainage, adequate water supply and a favorable microclimate. Our vineyard is situated on the apex of the Sulphur Creek fan. Our soils are thereby alluvial, comprised of a sandy clay loam which allows for both good drainage and water-retention. We are located at the base of the Mayacamas Range and Spring Mountain, and the gap that defines their convergence allows for the cooling maritime influence to temper the sun's warmth, creating a unique microclimate.
The Estate Winery
The estate winery consists of two historic buildings (c. 1884) - a Victorian farmhouse which serves as our office and a pre-prohibition stone cellar where our Cabernet Sauvignon is barrel aged - and a new winery constructed in 1999. Its completion signifies an important step in Spottswoode's evolution, as it was designed and equipped to enable us to handle our fruit in a manner optimal for our handcrafted style.
Spottswoode produces only two wines - Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc - in extremely limited quantities. We produced our first Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982, and began producing Sauvignon Blanc just a few years later. Making Cabernet Sauvignon for eighteen years lends us an experienced perspective on our style, and we have our estate vineyard to thank for our remarkable consistency and unique flavor profile. Our Cabernet exhibits elegant power, effusive berry fruit, naturally refined tannins and amazing color. The Sauvignon Blanc from our estate likewise offers restrained elegance, and we blend this with fruit grown for us by three families - from Calistoga, the Fredianis (Sauvignon Blanc) and the Tofanellis (Semillon), and from Carneros, the Hydes (Sauvignon Musque).
Winemaker Rosemary Cakebread shares our commitment to translating our grapes into their purest representation as wine. We strive for refinement, elegance and balance, for wines that are classic in structure and possess the ability to age gracefully. French oak is used judiciously, and is thoughtfully integrated to match our fruit's nuances and power. The winemaking process is guided by respect and intuition rather than by sophisticated technology or a focus on numbers - a very natural and down-to-earth approach to crafting wine.
Spottswoode Vineyard & Winery / 1902 Madrona Avenue / St. Helena, CA 94574 / (707) 963-0134
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