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Spring Mountain Vineyard Winery History: La Perla


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In 1944 and 1945, La Perla and the adjoining Beringer hillside vineyard were purchased by Jerome Draper, a Bay Area developer. Since the 1940s acquisition, the Drapers, who did not make wine, sold their grapes to several Napa Valley wineries. In the early 1970s Mr. Draper retired and built a beautiful home at the top of the La Perla vineyard overlooking the Napa Valley. It's surroundings were landscaped by Thomas Church, the noted American landscape architect. Mr. Draper loved the vineyard and was a great steward of the property.

The senior Mr. Draper passed away in 1984 and the property went to his two children, Jerome Jr. and his sister, Jane Keresey. Together, they continued to operate the vineyard and grow some of the best grapes in the Napa Valley until the early 1990s.

La Perla was planted entirely on AXR rootstock. The roots of this hybrid were susceptible to the soil borne insect Phylloxera. In the mid-1980's, a mutation occurred in this insect population and the new form began to kill vines with AXR roots. Facing this and the mounting costs of replanting due to the new Napa Valley Hillside Ordinance, the Drapers reluctantly decided to sell the property.

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