September 20, 2006
A visit and tasting at Terra Valentine.
The road from St. Helena that ascends Spring Mountain twists and turns past ancient trees and sheer drop-offs. About four-and-a-half miles up, a gated lane leads to the Terra Valentine Winery. Eccentric engineer Fred Aves, the previous owner, designed the winery and guesthouse, located on a bluff overlooking the Napa Valley. He did most of the work by himself. Each structure features massive handmade wooden doors with gargoyles carved into the ceiling beams, stone archways, spiral staircases and stained-glass windows. The balcony affords a magnificent view of the valley’s vineyards, framed by tree-lined mountains and accented by birds swooping around the property. At night, the numerous stars seem close enough to touch.