DESCRIPTION:Peering through the glass turret of a helicopter hovering at about 400 feet, you can see how two parallel mountain ranges—the Mayacamas to the west and the Vaca to the east—funnel together in dramatic fashion to form the hourglass-shaped Napa Valley. It is from this unique vantage point that we can begin to understand the magic of the vineyard that lies precisely at the narrowest point between the constricting mountains.
It was in 1992 that Dr. Kliewer first described the singular positioning of the vineyard to Jeff Smith and its equally exceptional geography. Dr. Kliewer knew the “hourglass effect” would play a significant role in defining the yet-to-be-planted Cabernet vineyard, but he could not articulate exactly how. He explained to Jeff that the Smith family’s vineyard defined the pinch of the hourglass-shaped valley and advised him to pay attention as he farmed the vineyard over time.