Barnett Vineyards was created by Fiona and Hal Barnett in 1983, their goal being to produce small amounts of handcrafted Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Their vineyards are located at the top of Spring Mountain, at an elevation of 2,000 ft.
The vines are planted on steep terraces that follow the contour of the land. Because of this, mountainside farming has proven to be very challenging but the most rewarding dues to its effect on the grapes. The vines must struggle to reach nutrients and water in the soil; as a result, they only yield one or two tons per acre. Between the sun, temperature, and well-drained soils, there is amplified water stress on the vines, which contributes to the depth and richness of the wine. Because the hillsides are so steep and the vines are planted so close, traditional farming methods such as the use of tractors and disking are not possible. Barnett Vineyards are thus farmed by hand from bud break until harvest.
Their flagship wine is of course Cabernet Sauvignon, but they also produce limited amounts of Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay from other vineyards. Each wine is either Estate Bottled, from Spring Mountain, or from another carefully selected vineyard in the district.
Tasting at Barnett Vineyards is a unique and intimate experience arranged by appointment only. The tasting includes an introduction to the property, its vineyards, and their wines, making for an educational and scenic experience. Upon arrival, guests are greeted in the rustic winery with the current white wine release and then move on outside to the tables to enjoy a view of Napa valley, which is nestled 2,000 feet below. The wine cave is open for exploring, ornamented with impressive glass doors and incredible vistas. There is also an observation deck on top of Rattlesnake Hill, which offers a fantastic panoramic view of the valley. A seated reserve tasting is available by appointment, where guests can enjoy library wines in the wine cave along with a light cheese accompaniment and barrel sampling. This idyllic winery is worth the drive up the hillside to see mountainside vineyards at their best.