The new Spring Mountain Vineyard was once three separate properties each with its own vineyard and winery: Spring Mountain Vineyards (Miravalle) 257 acres, Chateau Chevalier (Chevalier) 120 acres, and Draper Vineyards (La Perla) 435 acres.
The upper most property on the estate, La Perla, was founded in 1873 by Charles Lemme and expanded by the Schilling Spice family. Originally 285 acres it had the first Cabernet Sauvignon planted on Spring Mountain. The old winery remains today along with much of its original equipment and horse drawn carriages and wagons. Immediately below La Perla, and eventually added to it was the first vineyard planted by Fredrick and Jacob Beringer in 1882. These terraced hillsides were planted in a wide assortment of grape varieties to support the Beringer brothers fledgling winery.
Adjoining to the north of the Beringer vineyard was a Frenchman, Fortune Chevalier, whose stone winery, Chateau Chevalier, was making wine in 1891. And finally, next door to Chevalier was Tiburcio Parrott who grew olives, citrus and grapes. Parrott built a grand home on the estate which he named Miravalle.
In the late 19th century, there was a boom of activity in the wine business in the Napa Valley. European wines were expensive and in short supply. San Francisco was a bustling boom town and a train ran from Oakland to Calistoga. Dozens of wineries were started and thousands of acres of vineyard were planted.
Tiburcio Parrott was born in Mazatlan, Mexico, in 1840. His mother, a native of Mazatlan, was the mistress of his father, John Parrott, who was U.S. Consul in Mazatlan. Tiburcio was brought to the United States at the age of eleven to complete his education.
Fortune Chevalier was born in 1815 in Belle Isle, France. His family was not in the wine business and he apprenticed as a stained glass craftsman. Together with a group of similar craftsmen, he went all over France repairing the various castles and churches damaged by the frequent wars of the time.