Spring Mountain wineries

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Pride Mountain Vineyards. The Napa-Sonoma county line runs right through the grounds of this beautiful mountaintop property.
MacNeil's pick: The exotic and irresistible 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon ($62) offers cocoa and cassis flavors infused with fascinating notes of spices and minerals.
Info: Tastings Wed-Sat and Mon; $5. 4026 Spring Mountain Rd.; www.pridewines.com or 707/963-4949.

Ritchie Creek Vineyard. Since 1974, Pete Minor and his son Tad have been making fewer than 1,000 cases a year of traditional Bordeaux-style wines.
MacNeil's pick: The 2003 Ritchie Creek Blaufränkisch ($28). Made from an Austrian red grape, this wine is dense and exotic―loaded with black licorice and espresso flavors.
Info: Tastings daily; free. 4024 Spring Mountain Rd.; 707/963-4661.

Smith-Madrone. Rave reviews of Rieslings from brothers Stuart and Charles Smith haven't gone to their heads: You might get a foldable picnic chair to sit on, and Stuart's likely to use his Swiss Army knife to open the wine.
MacNeil's pick: The 2004 Riesling ($17). Like its neighbors, Smith-Madrone makes excellent Cabernets, but its hauntingly dry Riesling is terrific―a fresh, pure burst of apricots and minerals.
Info: Tours and tastings Mon-Sat; free. 4022 Spring Mountain Rd.; www.smithmadrone.com or 707/963-2283.



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