Back in 1960, the Napa Valley was a farming community where hard work was rewarded with the satisfaction of a job well done. The valley floor was dominated by sheep, and the hillsides were wild, untamed forests. As part of a surveying class while in college, Fred Schweiger selected to survey his parent's property at the top of Spring Mountain Road. While working on that project, Fred realized that the rich, deep volcanic soils and the unique microclimates would be particularly favorable for Cabernet Sauvignon and other classic wine producing varietals. He also discovered an eight-acre fairly level land-locked parcel adjoining his parent's property. Within two years Fred, as a college student, was the owner of that parcel.
Clearing for vineyard purposes did not begin until the late 1970's. During the clearing process, old redwood grape stakes spaced at 1x1 meter intervals were discovered, reconfirming the notion that the property had once been a prime viticulture area dating back to the late 1870's. The first Schweiger vines were planted in 1981, pioneering sustainable farming.
For the first 10 years, the Schweigers sold their renowned fruit to Joe Cafaro, ZD, Newton and Stags Leap Winery. In 1994, Schweiger Vineyards became a bonded winery and the family began bottling wine under their own label, under the direction of son, Andrew Schweiger, a UC Davis grad who learned the trade at several of the industry’s top wineries. The family continued selling the majority of their grapes until 1999 when they began using 100 percent of their estate fruit for The Schweiger Vineyards label. Today, the family works together to farm 35 acres of vineyards producing about 5,000 cases each year. The primary varietals continue to be Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, but we also farm micro-blocks of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, and Petite Sirah.