One of the most special attributes about Spottswoode to me is the Novak family—their history with the place and their continuing involvement, as a family, with the property and business of winemaking.
I remember the time when the Spottswoode barrel cellar was in the basement of Mary’s house. Winemakers start their working day before the sun comes up, a time we sometimes fondly call “o’dark-thirty.” Our work can be a little noisy and sometimes we’d forget that Mary had asked us to keep the noise down until 7:30 am. (Mary, sorry for all those mornings we forgot! What a great sport you were!)
Location plays a huge role in the success of an estate and Spottswoode is wonderfully situated at the foot of the Mayacamas. The vineyard’s rocky soil allows for good growth but not overgrowth, so everything exists in a natural balance—it’s one of the intrinsic beauties of the site.
Working at Spottswoode helped me realize how important family involvement is in making a great estate; consistency and quality start at the top. The Novaks are a rare and delightful family, and Beth has been an absolute firecracker in moving things forward with an energy that seems to course down through everyone in the winery. It was an inspiration to be part of their evolution in those earlier days.