If you’re looking for some high quality Chardonnays and/or Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa Valley, it may be time to re-acquaint yourself with wines made from grapes grown in the hillside appellation of Mount Veeder. Wineries here have been producing richly intense, age-worthy wines since the 1860’s (and not just Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon). Keep reading and we’ll recommend some wines and places to aim for based on our recent experience at a Taste of Mount Veeder event held just two weeks ago.
Mount Veeder’s wine production is impacted by its physical attributes and Mother Nature, collectively resulting in the longest growing season and the lowest yields in Napa Valley. Grape growing and harvesting is difficult here, as the rugged terrain and steep slopes result in most vineyard work having to be done by hand. The land’s proximity to the cool influence of the nearby San Pablo Bay helps counteract the ground’s shallow top soil and minimal water retention. For years, this “Mountain by the Bay” has been the source of excellent wines for us to savor and share with friends.
Below are recommended wines for you to seek out at local wine stores, restaurants and/or online. 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). FYI, The Hess Collection doesn’t require an appointment at all and we’ve been able to schedule tastings at Fontanella Family Winery, Robert Craig Winery and Y Rousseau Wines fairly easily in the past.
Favorite Wines at the 2016 Taste of Mt. Veeder Wine Tasting
Fontanella Family Winery (1721 Partrick Road, Napa, 707-252-7017, reservation required for tasting, reservations usually between 9-5) – 2014 Mt. Veeder Chardonnay, 2013 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Godspeed Vineyards (3655 Mount Veeder Road, Napa, 707-254-7766, reservation required for tasting) – 2013 Chardonnay, 2012 Chardonnay
The Hess Collection (4411 Redwood Road, Napa, 707-255-8584, open daily to the public for tastings from 10-5) – 2014 Mount Veeder Chardonnay, 2015 Small Block Series Albariño
Lagier Meredith (Napa, 707-253-0653, call with inquiries) – 2013 Malbec, 2013 Mondeuse, 2013 Syrah, 2013 Tribidrag (Zinfandel)
Marketta Winery (Napa, 707-226-5944, reservation required for tastings) – 2012 Chardonnay, 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Mayacamas Vineyards (1155 Lokoya Road, Napa, 707-266-7137, reservation required for tasting) – 2014 Mt. Veeder Chardonnay
Progeny Winery (707-252-9466, call with inquiries) – 2013 Trinity Blanc (Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier)
Random Ridge Winery (707-938-9085, call with inquiries) – 2013 Fortunata (Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon)
Robert Craig Winery (625 Imperial Way, Napa, 707-252-2250 x1, reservation required for tasting, reservations usually between 10-4 Mon-Sat, 11-4 Sun) – 2014 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 Mt .Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Y Rousseau Wines (902 Enterprise Way, Suite O, Napa, 707-224-8736, reservation required for tasting, reservations usually between 9-5 Mon-Fri, 9:30-12:30 Sat) – 2013 “Le Roi Soleil” Cabernet Sauvignon
We always enjoy attending the Taste of Mt. Veeder, an enjoyable afternoon of wine, food, and live entertainment. Hess Collection Executive Chef Chad Hendrickson prepared delicious small bites such as Estate Garden Gazpacho with a Lemon Cucumber Basil Relish, Grilled Black Mission Figs with a Balsamic Syrup, and Roasted Shisito Peppers with Sweet Chili Aioli. He also offered an outstanding Niman Ranch Flank Steak Sandwich with Eggplant Purée and Roasted Sweet Peppers.
In addition to the above, attendees were also able to pair their wines with excellent Salumi (including Soppressata and Salame Toscana from Fra’ Mani) and awesome artisan cheeses including Beehive Cheese’s Barely Buzzed, Bellwether Farms’ Carmody, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company’s Bay Blue and Valley Ford Cheese Company’s Estero Gold.
The Mount Veeder appellation and its wines are promoted by the Mount Veeder Appellation Council, a coalition of over 40 wineries and growers. The Taste of Mt. Veeder is the annual appellation tasting designed to showcase and celebrate wines grown on “The Mountain by the Bay.” To learn more about the appellation itself, the Council, or future public events (including official announcements about the 2017 Annual “Taste of Mt. Veeder”) please go here.