POSTED ON January 17, 2009 | IN Wine News | BY Joe Becerra

When you think of wines made from Spring Mountain, what immediately comes to mind are wineries like Smith-Madrone, Spring Mountain Vineyard, Pride Mountain, Paloma, or Keenan, wineries that are in the cult or mystic category of wine. But there is a little known Spring Mountain winery that is working hard to become a part of this famed wine community, the Frias Family Vineyards.

We stumbled on this winery when we met owner Manny Frias at an Olympic Club event in San Francisco. Soon afterwards, we made arrangements to visit his ranch on Spring Mountain. Two of Manny’s five children assist him in the operation of the winery. Manny Jr. does the PR and sales and son Fernando attends to the business end of the winery.

We met Manny Jr. at the ranch where we he took us on a vineyard walk explaining their approach and philosophy behind the farming of their grapes. He showed us various plots and plans for expansion of the vineyards. Frias Vineyards ranch consists of 100 acres of land with 24 acres currently planted with vines. The majority of the vines are Cabernet Sauvignon but there is a small plot of Merlot. They do contract out for their Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah wines. After the walk we returned to a small building where we tasted the Frias wines.

Manny Jr. Frias points out the Cabernet Sauvignon vines

Manny Jr. Frias points out the Cabernet Sauvignon vines

We tasted four wines and all were very well balanced and flavorful. The Napa Valley Syrah and the Cabernet Sauvignon from their Spring Mountain were outstanding. The price point for the Spring Mountain Cabernet is $60 but in our estimation that is a very fair price when you consider its quality and what other Spring Mountain Cabs are selling for in the wine market. Currently Frias Family Vineyards is producing about 3000 cases of wine. Their wines are all made at the custom crush facilities across the Valley floor at the Cuvasion winery on the Silverado Trail.

Frias Family Vineyards has hopes and expects to expand and have a full-fledged winery on the property. Manny Jr. explains that in five years visitors will find a beautiful tasting room overlooking the vineyards, a winery facility and perhaps cottages for guests. Case production will be at 10,000 cases and Robert Parker and the like will be embellishing Frias wines from Spring Mountain. We hope that this will happen and, judging from the Family’s determination, we think it will. If you would like to try some of the Frias wines, they can be purchased online at the Frias Website or at JV Wines in Napa.