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SITE IS WINE
Site is the soul of a wine. It is what shapes it, nourishes it, imbues it with character and distinction and poetry. Great wine cannot exist without a great site, but it is up to us to realize that potential. Cesare Mondavi perceived this in the thirties when he recognized the potential of Napa Valley. Robert Mondavi understood it when he bought vineyard land in Oakville. And Tim Mondavi sought it ardently when we established Continuum on Pritchard Hill. Truly exceptional locations are neither obvious, nor common, nor easy to come by. It seems provenance has led our family through generations to our Sage Mountain Vineyard and we are privileged to now be the caretakers of this gifted site.
Why We’re Here
Early in his winemaking career, Tim Mondavi had come to deeply know his father’s vineyards on the valley floor in Oakville. For Continuum, he literally had higher aspirations. After the sale of Robert Mondavi winery, Tim and his sister Marcia began to devise Continuum as a winery that would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the world’s best.
Such an ambition required a remarkable site. Decades of experience taught Tim that the world’s most renowned wines are grown on slopes—some gentle, some steep—and so Tim knew that Continuum must be grown on hillsides and at elevation, where drainage, temperature gradients, and sun exposure all favor fine wine production.
After several years of searching, Tim found a gorgeous, undulating stretch of land high on the slopes of Pritchard Hill on Napa’s east side. Tim could sense that rare spark of exceptional terroir and knew that with refinement and direction, the property could produce the wine he and his sister envisioned.
A far cry from the fertile valley floor soils in which our family’s identity had long been rooted, this rugged, mountainous site represents a very real break from our past. Poetically, the sweeping vistas from the estate trace our family’s history from our distant past in Saint Helena, to our recent past in Oakville, and up to our present and future at Sage Mountain Vineyard.
Sage Mountain Vineyard
Continuum Estate is located on a place known locally as Pritchard Hill, a landform on Napa’s eastern side hailed for the rarefied quality of the wines grown there. However, we prefer a different, more descriptive name for our site: Sage Mountain. And when we talk of our Sage Mountain Vineyard, each word speaks for itself as an essential component of our terroir and our wine: Sage. Mountain. Vineyard.