Wine Country Inn and Cottages Journal

Adventures In Napa Valley, California

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Miravalle at Spring Mountain Vineyard

Located slightly to the west of Saint Helena, the Spring Mountain Appellation rises up from the valley floor to about 2,600 feet. The appellation contains a wild diversity of elevations, sun exposure, and soil which contributes to its reputation as the source of consistent, powerful, and distinctive red wines. Spring Mountain Vineyard is an 845 acre estate on the eastern slopes and lower half of Spring Mountain.

In 1885, wealthy San Francisco banker and financier Tiburcio Parrott purchased 800 acres from A.B. Forbes. The newspaper reported: “Old vineyardists asked him what he expected to do among those hills and rocks, and when told by Mr. Parrott that he expected to raise grapes and produce wine unsurpassed in the world, they laughed at him and told him his hopes would never be realized.”

Parrott’s wine subsequently took many awards at wine competitions including First Place at the San Francisco MidWinter Fair of 1893-94 and was described as a “California red wine, Chateau Margaux type”. This was his cabernet sauvignon.

In 1885 Tiburcio began construction of a large and grand Victorian style home he named “Miravalle.” The home had wraparound verandas, conservatory, and grand tower. In the massive front double doors he put exquisite stained glass cupids and in the over-door glass he put his initials. On the first landing of his wide staircase he put the famous Parrot window, which later in the 1980s, Lorimar, in its TV production of Falcon Crest, insisted on calling a falcon.

Today you can step back in time and visit Miravalle and taste the wines produced from the hillsides of Spring Mountain Vineyard. This is a rare opportunity to participate in a unique combination of history, wine, and culture.