Marston Family Vineyard was first planted to vine in the late 1890’s on the most southern slopes of Spring Mountain, just west of St. Helena and part of the appellation known as the Spring Mountain District. Today the vineyards comprise about 10 percent of the 500 acres of heavily forested land. It only took forty years for the family to whittle the vineyard’s focus from eleven varietals to one, and Cabernet Sauvignon is truly “king” in the hills of the Napa Valley today.
During the growing season, the terraced hillsides, which range in elevation from 700 to 1,100 feet, benefit from cool afternoon breezes and daytime temperatures that are as much as ten degrees cooler than the lower elevations of the Napa Valley.
The vineyard is situated above the fog line, resulting in extended hours of sunlight. The additional sunshine coupled with the lower temperatures allow the fruit to ripen more slowly and uniformly, which ultimately enhances the wine’s concentration, complexity and texture. Furthermore, the rocky, mountain soils limit the vigor of the vines. As a consequence the clusters and the individual berries are smaller, which dramatically reduces overall yields. These diminished crop levels intensify the character of the wine. There is an old belief attributed to the French that grape vines are like people in that they need to suffer a little in order to develop character.