Paloma’s Barbara and Jim Richards.
Off the map―and off the charts
But wine lovers know that Spring Mountain's remoteness, besides making it so refreshingly untrafficked, is a big part of what makes the wines so good. Tom Ferrell, general manager and former winemaker at Spring Mountain Vineyard, explains that because Spring Mountain is not in fact a mountain but rather a ridge between two mountains, the area has its own weather patterns. It's the coolest, wettest place in the Napa Valley, with an average rainfall of 37 inches a year. Springs appear everywhere after a good rain, hence the area's name. And with all the trees, it feels more like the coast than like farmland. "We're about as far east as you'll find redwood trees," Ferrell says.