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 Filed as : Wine of the WeekWine Recommendations

Walk the Line

Jul 20, 2011
Walk the Line
Pride Mountain Vineyards celebrates 20 years of fine wine

big_rock_vistaThis week, from July 15-24, Napa Valley hosts Festival del Sole, an annual summer celebration of wine, food, art, and music that’s been called “a feast for the senses.” Nestled within this revelry, a renowned winery will celebrate two decades of winemaking: Happy 20th, Pride Mountain Vineyards. Although still a few months shy of the legal drinking age, Pride has a lot to be proud of since it was founded in 1990 by Jim and Carolyn Pride, who purchased the property atop Spring Mountain and built a spectacularly modern winemaking facility on what was an old stagecoach road. Count on a breathtaking, if harrowing, drive up Spring Mountain to reach it.

Over the past 20 years, Pride wines have received the highest critical praise. These wines merit the accolades: Pride makes arguably the best viognier in the Napa Valley, and their merlot rocks: velvety, supple, with hints of cocoa, coffee and boysenberry notes, year after year. (A recent trip to Pride’s wine caves afforded the opportunity to taste their 2009 merlot in barrel; get your futures now, is our advice.)

Why are their viognier, cabernet and merlot so highly lauded? Simply put: mountain fruit. Pride is located on a 240-acre parcel of land historically known as Summit Ranch, straddling Napa and Sonoma counties. And when we say straddling, we mean literally: the winery boasts the equivalent of a meridian line between the two counties, requiring two separate fermentation rooms. Needless to say, Napa grapes stay on the Napa side of the winery; Sonoma grapes, on the Sonoma side. No cohabitation allowed.

Even if you didn’t make it to Pride’s 20th birthday fête last night (with live music and a five-course meal by chef Gary Danko), you can still toast the winery’s milestone anniversary with a steak on the grill, a few friends, and of course: a bottle of Pride. You won’t be disappointed.

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