Description 1 of 3

Directly to the North Of Los Carneros and veering off to the Northwest for some 13 miles as it follows both the Mayacamas range and the boundary with Sonoma is the Mount Veeder AVA. It is here that one finds the steepest, most challenging vineyards in Napa Valley. Based as it is around the slopes of a long dormant Volcano, Mt. Veeder's soil is composed of decomposed basalt and compact ash as well as sandstone and shale at the lower elevations. With almost 3 feet of rail annually, these porous soils are one of the elements that distinguish this AVA, no to mention making it even more challenging to establish a vineyard here. The high elevation, ranging from 600 to 2300 ft, keeps the vineyards out of the reach of the San Pablo bay fog and results in temperatures that are moderate for the region. This combination of factors creates some stern, structured wines but with beautifully complex fruit. Cabernet and Chardonnay long have been the grapes of note from Mt. Veeder, with the Chardonnays retaining bright acids and a minerally character and the Cabernets yielding very powerful yet balanced wines with exceptional cellaring potential. In the past some excellent Zinfandels were produced here but more and more Syrah is usurping that second level position. The meager soils here and conditions that foster small berries have produced powerful yet minerally Syrah that is quite distinct from the fruit driven versions more commonly encountered in the region. – Description from Gregory Dal Piaz

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Description 2 of 3

The Mount Veeder AVA is the only hillside region within Napa Valley, California. The appellation is mainly on the high, rugged slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains. The steep conditions necessitate hands on vine maintenance in most of the vineyards. The elevated vineyards benefit from plentiful sunshine, with cooling conditions from the San Pablo Bay and well-drained soils. Grapes are characteristically small, but rich, concentrated and age-worthy. 

Throughout the 1800s, the region was known as “Napa Redwoods” for the abundance of Redwoods clustered into the volcanic peak of the Mayacamas. The name was changed in the 20th century to Mount Veeder after a beloved local Presbyterian minister, P.V. Veeder, who liked to hike in the mountains. Oakland entrepreneur Theodore Guire is credited with being the first person to start a commercial winery at Mount Veeder in 1903. The large, three-story structure he built from locally quarried stone still stands on what became the Hess Collection winery in 1978.
Cabernet and other Bordeaux varietals have been the main attraction of the region with, with Syrah and Rhone grapes gaining prominence since they adapt well to the steep conditions. Chardonnay is the most popular white varietal. ~Amanda Schuster
– Description from Amanda Schuster

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Description 3 of 3

Nestled in the Mayacamas Mountains overlooking the opening of the Napa Valley is a small, 25-square-mile appellation that produces colossal wines of mountainous fame. The vignerons of Mt. Veeder range from recluses and dairy farmers to artists, musicians and businessmen. It takes a love of the vine, unrelenting patience and sheer guts to grow grapes on this rugged, volcanic mountain. The slopes are steep, the soils are thin and the viticulture is back-breaking, but the result is intense, chewy wines with distinctive wild berry fruit flavors and magnificent spice. The region’s area totals around 15,000 acres, with over 1,000 acres under vine. Some vineyard slopes here are as much as 30 degrees, allowing more direct exposure to the sun, as well as providing superior air drainage, reducing climactic extremes. The wines of Mt. Veeder are a testament to the efforts of vignerons with rare passion. – Description from Appellation America (view original content)

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