Patrick Sullivan Joins Spring Mountain Vineyard as Technical Director of Vineyards and Winemaking
Spring Mountain Vineyard announced the hiring of Patrick Sullivan as technical director of vineyards and winemaking. Sullivan will continue the refinement of the estate wines working with wine consultants Patrick Léon (formerly of Bordeaux’s Château Mouton Rothschild, Alexis Lichine, Napa Valley’s Opus One and owner of Château Les Trois Croix) for the Bordeaux varieties and with Burgundy’s Bernard Hervet for the estate’s Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
“Our challenge is to achieve balance in each of the vineyard blocks”
Sullivan comes to Spring Mountain Vineyard from Rudd Winery where he was winemaker since 2007. Prior to that, he worked at Paul Hobbs, Lewis Cellars and Peter Michael. His experience across a broad spectrum of wine regions and varietals, most prominently those of Bordeaux and Burgundy, made him the ideal candidate to take on the challenge of the diverse Spring Mountain Vineyard estate.
Sullivan will work closely with vineyard manager Ron Rosenbrand to achieve the full potential of the 135 vineyard blocks scattered over the historic 845 acre wine estate, a vineyard whose diverse soils and climate challenge the winegrower to find the ultimate expression of its unique place.
"Our challenge is to achieve balance in each of the vineyard blocks", says Sullivan. "Finding this harmony in the grape itself will give us the opportunity to capture terroir in the wine with minimal intervention on my part."
Jac Cole, Spring Mountain Vineyard winemaker for the past ten years, is pursuing other winemaking projects, including a wine produced from his vineyard on Howell Mountain in Napa Valley.
At 845 acres, Spring Mountain Vineyard spans from 400 to 1,600 feet in elevation, has eight soil series within its footprint and 135 unique vineyard blocks. 225 acres are planted, primarily to red Bordeaux varieties that comprise its primary wines: Elivette, a signature proprietary wine and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are also produced.
The privately-owned, sustainably-farmed Spring Mountain Vineyard was once four separate, but contiguous vineyards, each with its own history: La Perla (1873), Miravalle (1885), Chevalier (1891) and Alba (1979). In the early 1990s the vineyards became one, making it one of the most historically significant wine estates in the Napa Valley.
This placement was made by the executive search firm The Cypress Group of St. Helena, California.