Schweiger Vineyards ~ Dedication From Root To BottleOct 25th, 2011 | By Joyce Maroon | Category: Food & Wine, Sommelier
Schweiger Vineyards is located on Spring Mountain, St. Helena, California. Well above the Napa Valley floor, as a matter of fact, it’s 2000 feet above St. Helena. The 5 mile drive up Mountain Spring Road is like driving through an enchanted forest. Once you reach the top, your eyes are treated to a spectacular view of Napa Valley.
The majority of the 60 acre property was purchased by Tony and Theresa Schweiger for under $300 an acre in 1960. Fred, their son, added the balance of the property ~ another 8 cares ~ in 1961. It wasn’t until the late 1970’s that the decision was made to clear the property and plant grapes. During the clearing, hand-split grape stakes were discovered revealing that over a hundred years earlier the property had been farmed as a vineyard. The first Schweiger Vineyards grapes were harvested in 1984 and for ten years the family sold their grapes to notable wineries like Newton, Stags Leap Winery, ZD and Cafaro Cellars.
Schweiger Vineyards is truly a family operation. Fred, vineyard and winery founder, is still active on the vineyard property. His wife Sally runs the office while daughter Diana Isdahl is the Sales Director and the face of Schweiger. Andrew, their son, is the winemaker. Of course I cannot forget to mention the vineyards dogs, all lovely and super friendly.
Clockwise L-R: Diana Schweiger Isdahl, Diana and (mom) Sally Schweiger; with staff Erin and James; Joyce with Andy Schweiger
I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Andrew for a while. Besides his wine making background I became quite smitten with his personal life. Andy shared with me the story of how he met his wife Paula. They met when they were both exchange students in Salamanca, Spain in 1987. He had become a street musician and every once in a while would run into Paula. They soon developed a friendship and maintained it upon their return to the States. Paula is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio but they managed to stay in touch throughout the years. In 1992, they saw each other in California and this time, after so many years, things clicked for them. They are now married and have two children, Jerry and Megan. Paula is a kindergarten teacher in St. Helena.
Andy admits that drive is very important to him and it’s because of this that he finds himself being a bit of a plumber, electrician and a computer geek when it comes to his work. The most rewarding thing for this winemaker is to take something from root to bottle. Bottling to him is like sending a child to college!
Schweiger is unique in many ways. They farm and do everything themselves from beginning to end. Their Dedication series seems to be the most successful so far and they are in their 7th one now. During my visit I got the chance to try a Dedication, one that Andy had done for his sister Diana. This wine is a complex and fruity blend of the four most common varieties used in this style of wine; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. I also tried a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc. I cannot forget their scrumptuous Port, absolutely divine.
A special thanks to Diana, Andy, Sally and Fred for welcoming me and giving me the full tour of their breathtaking winery. I would recommend all to come and visit this treasure, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. A votre Sante, cheers, Salute!!!!!
4015 Spring Mountain Road, St. Helena, CA 94572
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