The Impact of Terroir in Spring Mountain Wine Country

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The Spring Mountain Wine Region is located in the Mayacamas Mountains of the Western Napa Valley AVA. This beautiful microclimate contains approximately 20 wineries and 25 vineyard owners. Due to its unique terroir, AVA status was granted in 1991.

For those of you interested, I have also written an article about the viticultural history of Spring Mountain.

The region receives quite a bit of precipitation and is extremely lush and scenic. York Creek is the main watershed in the area. Over 80% of Spring Mountain Vineyards produce red varietals. Cabernet Sauvignon is widely grown as well as Merlot to a lesser extent. The typical Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Spring Mountain Wineries has soft tannins, low acidity, and strong fruit flavors.

The mountain experiences cooler days and warmer nights than the majority of the valley floor. There are several reasons for this. Because of its higher elevation, the mountain often escapes fog-induced, cold mornings. Additionally, cold air often settles on the valley floor overnight, causing temperatures on the mountain to be relatively warm.

The Impact of Terroir in Spring Mountain Wine Country

Many of the vineyards face east and are therefore shaded from afternoon sun by the valley walls. Located approximately 30 miles from the Pacific Ocean, Spring Mountain is mildly affected by oceanic influence. Cool air enters the Napa Valley over the relatively low Spring Mountain AVA between the taller Bald and Diamond Mountains. This cool air is particularly beneficial for Chardonnay. Moderate temperatures allow for a longer than average growing season.

The soils are geologically very old, and contain a combination of the sedimentary and volcanic material. Known as “Aiken Loam”, they are relatively unfertile and shallow. This leads to stressed vines and concentrated, flavorful fruit.