As we head into the holidays, this may be a perfect time to reacquaint yourself with wines made from grapes grown in Napa Valley’s Mt Veeder, a wonderful AVA on the southwestern side of Napa Valley. Wineries here have been producing richly intense, age-worthy wines since the 1860’s and their grapes have been crafted into some of our favorite wines over the years. Keep reading and we’ll recommend wines and wineries, including those we enjoyed the most at this September’s Taste of Mt Veeder event (Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons, of course, but we were also impressed by Mondeuse, Cabernet Franc and Zinfandel wines).
We’ll also let you know about a holiday tasting coming to Yountville next month featuring about 10 wineries from the region. On the other hand, if you want to go wine tasting to explore these wines (and the rest of the wineries’ portfolios) on your own, 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).
We always enjoy attending the Taste of Mt. Veeder, an enjoyable afternoon of wine, food, and live entertainment. Attendees paired their wines this year with Salumi, Olives, and an array of artisan cheeses including Beehive Cheese’s Barely Buzzed, Bellwether Farms’ Carmody, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company’s Toma, Cypress Grove Chevre’s Truffle Tremor and Cowgirl Creamery’s Wagon Wheel. Hess Collection Executive Chef Chad Hendrickson also prepared small bites such as Radishes with Sea Salt, Grilled Figs with Balsamic and a delicious Sandwich made with Roasted Pork (brined in Citrus and Fennel) Layered with Roasted Peppers, Bacon and Arugula.
Favorite Wines at the 2015 Taste of Mt. Veeder Wine Tasting
Fontanella Family Winery (1721 Partrick Road, Napa, 707-252-7017, reservation required for tasting) – 2013 Mt. Veeder Chardonnay, 2012 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Godspeed Vineyards (3655 Mount Veeder Road, Napa, 707-254-7766, reservation required for tasting) – 2012 Chardonnay, 2009 Mt. Veeder Trinity (Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah)
The Hess Collection (4411 Redwood Road, Napa, 707-255-8584, open daily for tastings) – 2011 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Lagier Meredith (Napa, 707-253-0653, call with inquiries) – 2012 Mondeuse, 2013 Tribidrag (Zinfandel)
Marketta Winery (Napa, 707-226-5944, reservation required for tastings) – 2012 Chardonnay, 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
Mayacamas Vineyards (1155 Lokoya Road, Napa, 707-266-7137, reservation required for tasting) – 2013 Mt. Veeder Chardonnay, 2010 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon, 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon
Mount Veeder Winery (tasting at Franciscan Estate which is open daily, 1178 Galleron Road, St. Helena, 707-967-3993) – 2012 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Franc
O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery (Angwin, 707-965-2898, reservation required for tasting) – 2012 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Craig Winery (625 Imperial Way, Napa, 707-252-2250 x1, reservation required for tasting) – 2012 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 Mt .Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Rubissow Family Wines (Napa, 707-253-8605, call with inquiries) – 2012 Mt. Veeder Reserve Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Yates Family Vineyard (4723 Redwood Road, Napa, 707-226-1800, call with inquiries) – 2012 Mt. Veeder Cheval (Cabernet Franc)
Y Rousseau Wines (902 Enterprise Way, Suite O, Napa, 707-224-8736, reservation required for tasting) – 2012 “Milady” Chardonnay, 2012 “Le Roi Soleil” Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 “Le Roi Soleil” Cabernet Sauvignon
In addition to wineries that may have been new to them, Taste of Mt. Veeder attendees were also introduced to a new food purveyor, The Wine RayZyn Company. The Napa-based company creates healthy foods such as tasty dehydrated wine grapes (which have the added benefit of being loaded with antioxidants). The Wine RayZyn™ is made from unharvested grapes in the vineyards as well as grapes discarded during the winemaking process, demonstrating this family-owned-and-operated company’s intent to salvage and repurpose unused harvest into healthy food. At the wine tasting event we enjoyed samples of their inaugural product made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, the CabernayZyn™ (cab-ur-NAY-zin). Future planned releases include MerlayZyn™ and ChardonnayZyn™.
So, if you’re ready for a collective tasting, you should consider attending Napa Valley’s Mount Veeder Holiday Celebration on Saturday, December 5 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at V Wine Cellar(6525 Washington Street, Yountville). Tickets include tastes from about 10 wineries and small bites including artisan cheeses, charcuterie, fruit and breads. Participating wineries include Fontanella, Hess, Marketta, Yates, and Y Rousseau, as well as Chateau Potelle and Trinchero Napa Valley. Tickets are $55 per person in advance and will be $75 per person at the door. But, if you move quickly, you may be able to still purchase Special Advance Tickets for just $35 each so go here quickly to buy your tickets.
This appellation, and its wines, are promoted by the Mount Veeder Appellation Council, a coalition of over 40 wineries and growers. The wines here reflect the independent spirit of its mountain growers and vintners, borne of rugged conditions that demand handcraftmanship at the highest level. To learn more about Napa Valley’s Mt Veeder appellation, the Council, or future public events (including official announcements about the 17th Annual Taste of Mt. Veeder next year) please go here.