The vineyards are hidden in mountains west of Nevada City, on a steep and remote hillside at the end of a winding road. They are mountain vineyards rising 2200' feet above sea level and terraced into 50-million-year-old blue clay soils and limestone. The rows curve over the unmarked hill above the steep canyons of South Yuba River. The river is visible 1000' below, where Rush Creek flows into the old crossing at Jones Bar.
The local topography reveals the curves and deep canyons of a path carved through granite by the Ancestral Yuba –an ancient batholith that cut the stone walls of canyons and formed a wilderness of mountains, streams, and rolling hills that surrounds the vineyards.
The vineyards were planted 40 years ago into the hillside that was never farmed or plowed. The tertiary gravel deposited over time by the slow moving, ancient batholith, is composed of shallow clay, quartz silt and limestone transitioning to granite rock and blue schist stone. The vines have grown thick trunks and roots that go deep into stone.
The four vineyards planted with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon; and were started from heirloom grape cuttings from mountain vines originally planted in the 1860s. Haven Stead has natural springs and the deep-rooted vines find their underground stream-aquifers, so that irrigation is used only during the hottest summers.Visitors to Haven Stead will find a Victorian farmhouse, 100-year-old stone and cedar-post barn converted to a winery, barrel cellar, and a working farm that has been in continuous operation since it was homesteaded.