Mayacamas Vineyards is a wine estate located in the Mayacamas Mountains, which divide the Napa and Sonoma valleys. Near the top of Mount Veeder, the old stone winery was dug into the side of a dormant volcano crater in the late 19th century with fifty-two acres of vineyards planted around it on the mountainside. Deer, eagles, cougars, foxes, bobcats, and an occasional bear and mountain lion still inhabit this rugged terrain. Obsidian arrowheads and stone grain-grinding bowls found on the property bear silent testimony to Mayacamas' first human inhabitants, the Native Americans of the Wappo tribe. The mountain terroir at Mayacamas Vineyards provides the grapes with their distinctive, intense flavors. Mount Veeder is a volcanic peak so the slopes are steep, requiring vineyard terraces.
John Henry Fisher, who had emigrated from Stuttgart to America, originally built the winery in 1889. The current ownership is that of the Travers family. Robert and Elinor Travers bought Mayacamas Vineyards in 1968; the young couple focused their efforts on Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, with Bob as chief winemaker. Bob Travers has now created wines of classical, balanced, intense, and deeply authentic character for the more than four decades.
In 1976, Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, vintage 1971, was selected for the "Judgment of Paris" tasting, pitting a selection of the finest American wines against a similar collection of top French growths. More than any other single event, the Judgment of Paris established American wines as being among the finest in the world.