Vineyard & Winery > Estate Overview
“The women of Spottswoode produce an unfailingly elegant Cabernet Sauvignon—the Grace Kelly of Napa Valley wines, conveying an almost aristocratic impression of refinement and class.”
Paul Lukacs, The Great Wines of America: The Top Forty Vintners, Vineyards, and Vintages
Spottswoode is a family-owned historic vineyard and winery renowned for its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. Established in 1882 by George Schonewald, the estate is distinguished by the pre-prohibition Victorian home depicted on the wine label. Spottswoode was christened by Mrs. Albert Spotts in 1910 and it was acquired by Mary and Jack Novak in 1972. Mary released Spottswoode’s first Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982, exactly one hundred years after the estate’s founding.
Today, Mary’s daughter Beth Novak Milliken manages the winery, and daughter Lindy Novak oversees national marketing. Every year four wines are released: Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc, Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon, and Field Book Syrah. The Novak family is committed to producing wines with integrity that faithfully reflect their grape origins, and Spottswoode wines are especially known for their refined elegance, balance, and classic structure.
Three Generations of the Novak Family
Photo: Kopol Bonick
Situated on the western edge of St. Helena at the foot of the Mayacamas mountains, the Spottswoode terroir is ideal for growing fine wine grapes. The alluvial clay loam from the Sulphur Creek fan provides superb drainage while cool maritime breezes passing through the gap between Spring Mountain and the Mayacamas range, allow berries to ripen slowly.
Our forty acres are planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon, with small blocks of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Sauvignon Blanc. We have organically farmed our grapes since 1985, and our vineyard was certified organic in 1992. The roles of winemaking and vineyard management are very integrated at Spottswoode, and the individual attention given to each vineyard block contributes to the consistent quality and unique characteristics of our wines.
Historic Buildings & Winery
The Estate has three historic buildings that were originally built circa 1884–1885. The Colonial Revival-style, with its famous stone pillar entry gates and the elegant “Spottswoode” letters that arc over the driveway, is surrounded by formal gardens with plants that date back to the same era! The Victorian farmhouse now serves as our winery office and the Kraft Cellar is a pre-Prohibition stone building where our Cabernet Sauvignon is barrel-aged. We’ve added a tasting room and a state-of-the-art winery, each designed to honor the historic nature of our buildings.