Marston Family Vineyards has been a grape-growing venture since the late 19th century and was owned by various families until 1969, when Michael and Elizabeth Marston bought a portion of the estate. In 1976 the Marstons bought out their partners and focused on growing grapes for some of the region’s top producers, primarily Beringer. In 1998 the family decided to start their own label, and the debut vintage was crafted by Philippe Melka. Melka made wines for the estate until 2010, when Marbue Marke joined the estate as winemaker. The Marston’s children and their families help run the estate today. Marston produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. Robert Parker Jr. has rated the wines in the 90s.
Spring Mountain AVA is above the town of St. Helena on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains. There is no actual Spring Mountain, but the name has traditionally been used for the area, which includes many streams and springs. Spring Mountain was awarded appellation status in 1993 and it includes about 1,000 vineyard acres. Vineyard elevations are high, from 400 to 2,600 feet above sea level. Because of the altitude of most vineyards, which are above the fog line, mornings become warm earlier than vineyards on the valley floor, though the afternoons are cooled by maritime winds. The result is an exceptionally long growing season. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most frequently planted grape by acreage, followed by Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay.
One of the most widely grown grape varieties, it can be found in nearly every wine growing region. A cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a hardy vine that produces a full-bodied wine with high tannins and great aging potential.