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Diamond Mountain – The Jewel Of The Eastern Napa Valley

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Diamond Mountain has historically been known for its very tannic, ageworthy Cabernet Sauvignon. This generalization is changing, and many Cabs currently produced in this AVA are drinkable when they are quite young. Producers have increased the fruit and acidity in their wines to accomplish this.

Although the AVA comprises more than 5000 acres, only about 500 are planted to vines. This reflects the isolation of the area. Diamond Mountain’s low amount of vineyard acreage keeps the wines rare and expensive. The terroir is truly unique, leading Rudy von Strasser to spearhead the effort to get AVA status.

History

In the 1860s, Jacob Schram of Schramsberg Winery was the first to make wine on Diamond Mountain. This winery is currently one of the most famous producers of sparkling wine in the United States.

After Phylloxera and Prohibition, the region was revived in 1968 when Al Brounstein planted the first Cabernet Sauvignon on the mountain. His wines are currently among the most sought after California Cabernets.

Terroir

The soil on Diamond Mountain is comprised of volcanic rock, decomposed volcanic ash, clay, gravel, sand, and quartz. The AVA ranges from 400 to 2300 feet is very hot by Napa Valley standards. Its northern, mountainous location shelters it from the cooling effects of the San Pablo Bay. It is not unusual for the temperature to rise over 100 degrees for several summer days on the mountain. At the same time, mornings can be cool, and breezy.

Diamond Mountain   The Jewel Of The Eastern Napa Valley

Varietals, Wines, Wineries, and Destinations

As alluded to earlier, Diamond Mountain is known primarily for producing Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as blends based on this varietal. Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Verdot are increasingly being blended with Cab.

Diamond Creek Vineyards and von Strasser are two wineries in the AVA that are currently making fantastic and highly sought after Cabernet Sauvignon based wines. Although these wines are ageworthy, they can also be enjoyed relatively young. There are currently 15 winegrowers and wineries on Diamond Mountain.