Barnett Vineyards Description
Barnett Vineyards, a family-owned winery known for its exquisite wines, is perched atop Spring Mountain in Napa Valley, California. Founded by Fiona and Hal Barnett in the early 1980s, this esteemed vineyard is a testament to the couple’s passion for winemaking and dedication to quality. The story of Barnett Vineyards began with the couple’s frequent visits to Napa Valley and culminated in the purchase of a rugged, 40-acre property on Spring Mountain in 1983. This land, originally covered with dense vegetation and home to numerous rattlesnakes, was transformed into a thriving vineyard.
The location of Barnett Vineyards is both striking and strategic. Situated at an elevation of 2050 feet, it sits well above the fog layer that often envelops the valley below. This unique positioning allows the vineyard to enjoy extended sunlight exposure, crucial for consistent ripening and flavor development of the grapes. The microclimate, further enhanced by afternoon Pacific breezes, plays a pivotal role in the distinct character of Barnett Vineyards’ wines.
The winery’s first harvest in 1989 produced a mere 232 cases of Spring Mountain Cabernet, marking the start of their journey in the wine industry. Over the years, Barnett Vineyards has expanded its production, now including other exceptional wines such as Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyard’s commitment to quality over quantity is evident in their limited production, with an annual yield varying between 5,000 to 6,000 cases from the estate.
Barnett Vineyards’ farming practices are meticulously crafted to suit the rugged terrain of Spring Mountain. The vineyards are planted on steep terraces, each varietal carefully selected for its compatibility with the soil and slope. The rocky and porous soil adds stress to the vines, resulting in smaller clusters of grapes with intense flavors. Such conditions are ideal for producing their renowned “Barnett Rattlesnake” and “Barnett Spring Mountain” Cabernet Sauvignons, wines celebrated for their rich concentration and depth.
“Barnett Rattlesnake Hill Cabernet Sauvignon,” a crown jewel of the vineyard, comes from the highest point of the estate, Rattlesnake Hill. This particular location yields grapes with even more concentrated flavors, a result of the unique soil composition and elevated sun exposure. The estate also showcases other varietals like “Barnett Chardonnay,” “Barnett Pinot Noir,” and “Barnett Sauvignon Blanc,” each reflecting the distinctive terroir of their respective vineyards.
Barnett Vineyards’ commitment to sustainable farming practices is evident in their approach to vineyard management. Minimal intervention during the growing season, along with gentle hand harvesting, ensures that the natural intensity of the fruit is preserved. This philosophy is a core aspect of the Barnett family’s vision, resonating through each bottle of wine they produce.
In summary, Barnett Vineyards represents the epitome of high-elevation winemaking. From the rugged terrain of Spring Mountain to the carefully nurtured vines, the vineyard is a true embodiment of the Barnett family’s dedication to producing world-class wines. Whether it’s the “Barnett Cabernet Sauvignon,” “Barnett Rattlesnake Cabernet,” or any of their other finely crafted wines, each bottle tells a story of passion, perseverance, and the unique character of Spring Mountain.