I Need Views!
Decadent wines, sublime vistas, and a peaceful yet extravagant lifestyle are all within reach in Wine Country.
Living in Wine Country provides residents with an extravagant and secluded lifestyle that cannot be found elsewhere. For those who seek an elevated Wine Country experience, living in the hills provides stellar views and cooler temperatures, among other advantages. However, living in the hills offers more than breathtaking vistas and privacy — it beckons the need for adventure. Several ideal locations give locals access to an array of outdoor recreation, one-of-a-kind wines, and a peaceful existence like no other.
It is important to note that living in the hills requires a distinct maintenance demand as far as valley floor/vineyard living goes. It also comes with the need for careful landscape management to mitigate structural damage and additional issues that arise at the hands of natural elements. While mountain life requires more planning and work, it also means being near some exceptional wines and a heightened Napa Valley experience.
Some phenomenal areas to consider for a lifetime of views and adventures include Howell Mountain and Spring Mountain in St. Helena, Mt. Veeder in Napa, the West Dry Creek area in Sonoma, Northeast Santa Rosa, and the Sonoma Valley areas of Kenwood. Let’s further explore some of these areas and their potential for a lifetime of exquisite wine, tranquility, and gorgeous scenery for miles on end.
Established in 1983, the Howell Mountain American Viticultural Area (AVA) is located in Napa Valley, just above St. Helena. Howell Mountain is one of Napa’s most prestigious and highly-coveted hillside AVAs. The vineyards are planted on volcanic soils and help produce many classic California “big reds,” including Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Petite Sirah. The Howell Mountains, also known as the Mt. George Range, boast a cool, rainy winter and a warm, dry summer at lower elevations. In addition to growing some incredible grapes that yield complex wines, Howell Mountain offers spanning views from St. Helena to Calistoga.
Spring Mountain is not a single mountain but a series of peaks west of St. Helena that was named for the abundance of creeks and springs that weave throughout the region. This is a perfect place to settle for those who like to be a bit removed from the bustling wine tourism that Napa is known for. The Spring Mountain District AVA touts two dozen wineries and 1,000 acres of vineyards, but its peaceful, rural setting is what residents love most about the area. Leading grapes of the region are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay, so if you’re an enthusiast of those wines, enjoy warm evenings and cooler days, Spring Mountain is an ideal place to call home.
What sets Mount Veeder apart from other Napa regions is that it’s located by the bay, provides the longest growing season and the lowest yields in Napa Valley, most vineyard work is done by hand, and the terrain is rugged. Mount Veeder is an island of ancient seabed thwarted into a mountain, enveloped by volcanic soils that exemplify the rest of Napa Valley. Featuring the highest vineyards in Napa, one cannot help but be taken aback by the panoramic views seen from the 2,400-foot elevation. Those who wish to connect with the land are enamored by Mount Veeder’s lush natural forest, majestic wildlife, cool daytime temperatures, and unrivaled privacy.
Wine enthusiasts and nature lovers find life to be endlessly fulfilling in Kenwood. Being a small town with a population of just over 1,000 people, a community feel is a given. There are plenty of small, mom-and-pop shops for residents to stock up on everyday necessities, hiking trails and Bald Mountain to explore at the nearby Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, and so much more. While rustic and charming, Kenwood also offers the Kenwood Inn and Spa, where locals can relish some personalized spa treatments and well-deserved R and R.