Mountain vineyards produce some of the most stunning wines in the world and those included in Mountain Wine Club are perfect examples. From the high elevation plateau of Howell Mountain or rugged terrain of Mt. Veeder in Napa Valley, to the ridgetops of the famed McLaren Vale region of South Australia, these unique mountain appellations challenge the vineyard and winemaking teams to achieve perfection in a constantly defiant locale.
The wines of La Jota have deep roots in Napa Valley. Back in 1888, winemaking pioneer W.S. Keyes planted some of the first vines on Howell Mountain, and 10 years later his contemporary, Fredrick Hess, built a stone winery and established La Jota Vineyard Co., named for its location on the Mexican parcel Rancho La Jota. Both men won medals for their Howell Mountain wines in the Paris Exposition of 1900. Today, La Jota Vineyard Co. proudly carries on this great legacy with its small-production mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay.
The La Jota Vineyard lies high upon a volcanic plateau, looking east over Napa Valley. Surrounded by pine, fir, oak and madrone trees, the estate stands out because of its cool, windswept climate. Here we look to vineyard blocks that produce soft-textured Cabernet Sauvignon for wines of earlier approachability, and where the decomposed granite soils of our W.S. Keyes Vineyard impart a pop of bright fruit character and broader tannins.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay
Mt. Brave Vineyard sits high atop Mt. Veeder at an elevation of 1,400 to 1,800 feet. Mt. Veeder has been planted to wine grapes since the early 1860s by such winemaking pioneers as Charles Krug, Agoston Haraszthy, Frederick Hess, and Winfield S. Keyes, and wines from Mt. Veeder achieved recognition as early as the Paris Exposition of 1900. The parcel that became the Mt. Brave Vineyard, in the northern reaches of the Mt. Veeder American Viticultural Area (AVA), was originally purchased in 1841—before the Gold Rush and the Civil War.
High-elevation winegrowing requires a painstaking, labor intensive approach. Thin, rocky soils and steep slopes make water retention a challenge and erosion a threat, but the vines benefit from the struggle and produce concentrated flavors. This regularly extends the growing season into November, and the increased hang-time results in peak ripeness and full varietal complexity.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Syrah
Restricted is the chance to craft extremely small lots of stellar wines that are, frankly, pure fun to make.
After two decades of making wine from Napa Valley’s most acclaimed appellations, Winemaker Chris Carpenter knows how to cultivate and identify the best from his mountain vineyards, no matter the vintage.
Restricted is a collection of small-lot, block-specific wines that are as formidable as the terrain in which they’re grown. Made exclusively for the Mountain Wine Club, Restricted will be ever evolving, allowing Chris to hand-select the vineyards, blocks, and rows according to vintage, quality, and preference. Numbered and signed by the winemaker, each bottle will be an intimate expression of some of the most isolated and iconic soils in the Napa Valley.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah
Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard covers a steep territory from the ridgetops of Clarendon to the Onkaparinga River below. Since its establishment in 1971, the vineyard has played a vital role in Australia’s wine heritage, supplying fruit for many of Australia’s most iconic wines. It was not until 2012 that fruit from the vineyard was bottled under its own label, Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard.
Since 2012, Chris Carpenter has worked with Michael Lane and Peter Fraser to continue the winemaking legacy that began at Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard nearly 50 years ago. Devoted to Bordeaux and Rhône varieties, the vineyard tells a unique story in McLaren Vale by giving a voice to its northern edge in Clarendon.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz