We have roughly 125 acres of grapes high above the Napa and Sonoma valleys, on the crest of the Mayacamas Range of mountains. It is an area which on the Napa side has long been known as "Spring Mountain." For more than 100 years this area has been famous for its dark and intensely flavorful wines. I purchased the original parcel in 1968, and have been adding land and planting and replanting vineyards ever since. In a "mountain" vineyard the soil, exposure, and steepness vary constantly, and so we plant where it is appropriate, and where it is not we have wild and beautiful forests. The result is a marvelously complicated pattern of grapes mixed with native forest. We grow 15 different grape varieties—in nearly 50 individually named blocks—hence the curious names you may find on labels of wines made from our grapes, such as "Horseshoe," "Arena," "Dynamite Hill," and "Track." We refer to one block of Cabernet Sauvignon as "Dump Hill," but you may never see that one on a label!

I named our property "York Creek Vineyards" in honor of the defining feature of the land, the wild and beautiful creek, which flows all year—undisturbed by the hand of man—for a mile and a half through thick forests and redwood groves. On hot summer days it has a pleasant, cool, trickling sound; and during winter rains it roars like a locomotive.

Our wine labels feature 24 of the native trees that flourish at York Creek, a richness of flora that is quite remarkable. The trees on our label are my way of celebrating the gloriously wild areas here at York Creek, the forests that far outnumber the vineyards, and which have brought us so much pleasure over the years.