A Visit to Pride Mountain Vineyards
I survived the drive to Pride! reads the caption on the back of the black T shirt I bought in the Pride Mountain Vineyards gift shop. If you know anything about this vineyard it is well worth the tiny winding road to the summit of Spring Mountain in Napa Valley. And if you don’t…
Pride Mountain Vineyards is the only American winery to have it’s wines served in 3 different White Houses under Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama. The greatness of Pride Mountain Vineyards wines is possibly the only thing the 3 of them can agree on! Pride has received wide spread critical acclaim over the years including four ratings of 96 points or higher for their Reserve Cabernet from Robert Parker since 2001 – two of those were 99 points!
Pride is also well known for their Claret, which is usually a blend of about two thirds Merlot and one third Cabernet Sauvignon all estate fruit. Since 2001 the Claret has also received two 99 point scores.
As nice as points and great ratings are, these days there seems to be far less emphasis than there used to be. To use an analogy from film…the wine could be the greatest romance movie ever made, but if you like action adventure movies you won’t like it much. These wines, more than just ratings are some of the truest representations of what the New World has to offer and in particular what Napa/Sonoma mountain fruit can be.
I say Napa and Sonoma because this brings us to a very interesting geographical fact about Pride Mountain Vineyards. The Napa/Sonoma county line runs right through the middle of the vineyards and actually right through the middle of their bottling facility. In a strange bit of Kafka-esque bureaucracy, they actually have to fill out paper work to transfer wine bottles within their own bottling facility.
On my tour I visited the cave system and tried tasted current offerings including some barrel samples. Although the Merlot, Claret and Reserve Cabernet were what I came for, I was most surprised by the Viognier. The tour is more than just a quick walk through, it’s a nice long tour which lasts at least an hour. There are tasting stations set up in the cave system where guests sample current offerings and learn about the history and the story behind the vintages. The tour wraps up back in the main entrance and wine shop where the urge to purchase a case of the Reserve cabernet was very very difficult. I bought the t-shirt instead.
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