Last weekend, we had the pleasure of attending the 15th annual Mount Veeder Appellation Wine Tasting, celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Mount Veeder AVA. The host venue, The Hess Collection, was one of the wineries hit hardest by the recent Napa Earthquake (two 20,000 gallon tanks ruptured, over 14,000 cases of 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon lost) and yet they pulled off their hosting duties with grace and class.
Mount Veeder grapes are crafted into some of our favorite Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons in Napa Valley and our experience this year just reinforced that opinion. We were also impressed by a Zinfandel, a Syrah, a Rhône White blend and a Rosé at the Tasting. This appellation has been producing worthy wines since the 1860s and Mt. Veeder is the only hillside appellation in Napa Valley that adjoins the cool bayside Los Carneros region, benefiting from the cooling influence of San Pablo Bay.
If you weren’t at this year’s Mount Veeder Appellation Wine Tasting, we strongly suggest you consider going next year for an afternoon of wine, food, and music. In addition to the wine, attendees enjoyed small nibbles such as Caprese Skewers, Smoked Chicken Bruschetta and Grilled Figs by Hess Collection Executive Chef Chad Hendrickson as well as Charcuterie, Nuts, and Cheeses (including Beehive Cheese’s Barely Buzzed and Bellwether Farms’ Carmody). Eventgoers also had the pleasure of listening to live music from The Hummingbirdz as they bid on Silent Auction items.
Keep reading, and we’ll tell you exactly which wines we enjoyed the most at this year’s event and recommend you seek out. If you want to go wine tasting to explore these wines (and the rest of the wineries’ portfolios) we’ve included the street addresses for the wineries’ tasting rooms that are open to the public (and also noted if you need to have an appointment).
Favorite Wines at the 2014 Mount Veeder Appellation Wine Tasting
Chateau Potelle (1200 Dowdell Lane, St. Helena, 707-255-9444, reservation required for tasting) – 2011 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Fontanella Family Winery (1721 Partrick Road, Napa, 707-252-7017, reservation required for tasting) – 2012 Mt. Veeder Chardonnay, 2011 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Godspeed Vineyards (3655 Mount Veeder Road, Napa, 707-254-7766, reservation required for tasting) – 2011 Chardonnay, 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
The Hess Collection (4411 Redwood Road, Napa, 707-255-1144 x226, open daily for tastings) – 2013 Mount Veeder Chardonnay
Lagier Meredith (Napa, 707-253-0653) – 2013 Rosé (of Syrah, Zinfandel and Mondeuse), 2012 Tribidrag (Zinfandel), 2011 Syrah (and we also enjoyed sneak preview tastes of the 2012 Mondeuse, 2012 Malbec and 2012 Syrah as well)
Marketta Winery (Napa, 707-226-5944) – 2012 Chardonnay, 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Mayacamas Vineyards (1155 Lokoya Road, Napa, 707-266-7137, reservation required for tasting) – 2012 Chardonnay, 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery (Angwin, 707-965-2898, reservation required for tasting) – 2011 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Progeny (Napa, 707-252-9466) – Trinity Blanc (Roussanne, Marsanne)
Robert Craig Winery (625 Imperial Way, Napa, 707-252-2250 x1, reservation required for tasting) – 2011 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Rubissow (Napa, 707-253-8605) – 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Y Rousseau Wines (902 Enterprise Way, Suite O, Napa, 415-713-4203, reservation required for tasting) – 2012 “Milady” Chardonnay, 2012 “Le Roi Soleil” Cabernet Sauvignon
Towards the end of the Mount Veeder Appellation Wine Tasting, Chef Hendrickson brought out some outstanding Oatmeal Cookies and Chocolate Chocolate Chip Brownies. Although the Oatmeal Cookies were awesome on their own, many people at the Tasting used the brownies for a red-wine-and-chocolate-pairing opportunity. Once again, we highly recommend attending this event and next year’s will take place (tentatively) on September 19, 2015.
The Mount Veeder Appellation Wine Tasting was presented by the Mount Veeder Appellation Council, a coalition of over 40 wineries and growers. To learn more about the Mount Veeder appellation, the Council, or future public events (including official announcements about the 16th Annual Tasting next year) please go here.