(SPRING MOUNTAIN, Calif.) — NEWS: The year 2023 marks a significant milestone for the Barnett family who in 1983, seeking a respite from the pressures of city life in San Francisco, found a special, high elevation property on Spring Mountain Road in the Napa Valley that was to become the renowned vineyard and winery it is today. The 1980s was a nascent period for Napa Valley, and 1983 marked a decade since the founding of many legendary wineries such as Stag’s Leap and Cakebread Cellars, who were transforming the sleepy farm country into a serious wine destination. The Barnetts made the commitment early on to live on the property full time raising their family and cultivating a vineyard, in other words, hands on vintners.
With a knack for finding great land and talent, and seeing ahead of the curve, the purchase of 40 acres became the foundation of what is today, Barnett Vineyards. Hal Barnett’s real estate savvy and Fiona Barnett’s financial know how, helped them formulate a dream team of viticulturalists and winemaking, releasing their first vintage in 1989. In 1991, they produced their first designated Spring Mountain wine, later bottled, and labeled in 1993 when the Spring Mountain AVA was formally approved by what was then, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF).
The physical layout of the Spring Mountain District, 30 miles east of the Pacific Ocean, 25 miles north of the San Pablo Bay at elevations between 600-2600 feet (the Barnett Vineyard is at 2,100 feet), allows for cool climate winemaking resulting in wines of structure, balance, and intensity. Prescient for these challenging times of climate change, the wines are a testimony to patience, rewarding those who prefer to cellar wines and appreciate the evolution that comes with time.
Their famed Rattlesnake Hill vineyard on the property, came out of the gate with its first vintage in 1991 and earned a 96-point score from Robert Parker at The Wine Advocate and the Barnetts commitment to fine winemaking was cemented. Working for the last sixteen years with noted winemaker David Tate, the wines crafted on the property continue to win awards and accolades, rewarding those who consider patience a virtue.
The fires of 2020 almost extinguished the efforts of three plus decades, but thankfully, quick thinking and action on the part of the employees, both past and present, using the property’s pool water and pumps, they were able to put out the fire onsite. The extent of the damage included many vines, trees, equipment, and the tasting platform on Rattlesnake HIll. In 2022, a renewed planting effort of 4,000 vines along with a new deck helped set up the 40th anniversary year to come with a spirit of resilience and renewal.
2023 will consist of several special auction lots, limited edition bottlings, public and private events celebrating the vision of this visionary family and team.
Please visit https://www.barnettvineyards.com/ or follow the winery on Instagram @barnettvineyards
Related link: https://www.barnettvineyards.com/
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