Pride Mountain Vineyards was founded in 1991 by Jim and Carolyn Pride on a
site once known as Summit Winery. Both Jim and Carolyn were native
Californians from long-time farming families, so it wasn’t too big a
leap for Jim to scale back his dentistry career to start making wine in
the Spring Mountain District of Napa Valley. Jim Pride died in 2004, but
the Pride children, Steve Pride and Suzanne Pride Bryan, now own and run the winery, which is
considered one of the notable stars of the Napa Valley. Carolyn Pride also remains active at the winery. The property consists of 235 acres, 183 of which
are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot,
Syrah, Sangiovese, Viognier and Chardonnay. The Pride Cabernet Sauvignon
Reserve and Reserve Claret are especially renowned, earning high marks from
reviewers and collectors. About 18,000 cases are produced annually.
Sonoma County is not an AVA, but it is a commonly used informal designation for wines made outside of more specific AVAs within Sonoma, which is a large wine producing region just west of Napa Valley. Though Sonoma is often overshadowed by its glamorous neighbor Napa Valley, it has a long history of wine production. The area specialized in jug wine until the mid-20th century, when Sonoma producers took a cue from Napa and started improving quality. Unlike Napa, where Cabernet Sauvignon is king, Sonoma specialized in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel, though excellent Cabs are produced too. There are at present 16 AVAs within Sonoma County, and, like much of the West Coast of the United States, new AVAs are created in Sonoma County with regularity. Some Sonoma appellations, such as the Russian River Valley, are renowned for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.