Snowden Vineyards

Snowden Vineyards

About Snowden Vineyards

The history of Snowden Vineyards dates back to 1878. At that time, Levi Philander Davis and his wife filed for a 160-acre piece of land under the Homestead Act of 1862. It allowed them to acquire the parcel and plant their first grapevines on the plot in 1878. By 1880, the couple had cleared and prepared 75 acres of orchards of vineyards. After Levi passed away in 1881, his wife, Lucretia, handed over the ownership and privilege of the land to Melchior Kemper. The latter continued to follow the former proprietors and plant vineyards in the cleared areas. BY 1891, he developed 60 acres of parcels that produced Malvoisie, Chasselas, and Zinfandel. 

In 1955, the land got acquired by Wayne Snowden and his wife, Virginia. However, at that time, the Snowden ranch experienced and suffered from the detrimental effects of Prohibition, the Second World War, and the Great Depression. It allowed merely 13 acres of the original plot to remain capable of active cultivation. Most of the initial plantations had reverted to forests and woods.  

Wayne and Virginian toiled several years on the remote parcel located on the hills east of the Silverado Trail. The place between Rutherford and St. Helena provided numerous challenges. The issues of the dirt roads, jackrabbits, restriction in access, and limited supply of water were arduous to solve. Nonetheless, the couple’s relentless effort and hard work allowed the winery to reach today’s fame and state.

After Wayne passed away in 1977, his wife passed on their family business to their two sons, Randy and Scott Snowden. From then on, they became in charge of the winery’s management and operations. They removed and replaced all the existing orchards and vineyards with Cabernet Sauvignon. Gradually, they developed Snowden Vineyards, making it capable of producing world-class, high-quality wines.

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