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Mount Veeder AVA
Mount Veeder AVA
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Mount Veeder AVA
Mount Veeder AVA
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Mount Veeder AVA
Mount Veeder AVA

Images Courtesy of Suzanne Becker Bronk

The Mt. Veeder AVA is one of the coolest of Napa Valley's mountain AVAs and the rugged mountain terrain of this AVA results in low grape yields and high ageability of its wines.

Appellation Details

The Mount Veeder AVA is a sub-appellation of the Napa Valley AVA and is located in Napa Valley, California, on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Range that separates Napa Valley and the Sonoma Valley. Because of its proximity to San Pablo Bay and its steep, mostly east-facing slopes which enjoy the gentle morning sun, Mt. Veeder is the coolest of Napa Valley's mountain AVAs. Therefore, the Cabernets tend to be very high in tannin and acidity and are capable of great age. Many Mt. Veeder Cabernets also feature a distinct mintiness.

This is one of Napa Valley’s largest AVAs yet is one of the least planted, due in large part to the extreme cragginess of the terrain. The few locations genial enough to host vineyards tend to be rather small in size, so Mount Veeder is mostly home to small-scale artisan operations. Mount Veeder’s soils are a complex jumble of substrates (Franciscan Mélange), with only the rare pocket of volcanic material.


  • 500 to 2,600 feet (152 to 792 m)
  • The area's highest elevation is located at the summit of Mount Veeder and the lowest elevation is located in the bottom of Rector Canyon at 760 feet above sea level. The majority of this viticultural area lies over 1400 feet above sea level.


  • Sedimentary based, former seabed, shallow and generally well drained
  • More acidic than other AVAs, with low fertility
  • Most have a sandy or sandy-loam texture


  • Cool to moderate
  • Temperatures 10° to 15°F cooler than valley floor in summer
  • Most vineyards above the fogline, meaning warmer nights and cooler days
  • Less diurnal change than valley floor
  • Typical mid-summer high temperature is about 85°F (29°C)


  • Up to 35 inches (89 cm) annually

Principal Varieties:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chardonnay
  • Merlot
  • Zinfandel

Mount Veeder AVA History

Rev. Peter P. Veeder

Rev. Peter P. Veeder

The Mount Veeder AVA is named after the Reverend Peter V. Veeder, who was a Presbyterian pastor in the 1850's. The exact date when his name was applied to the area is unknown, although the name Mount Veeder is mentioned in "The History of Napa and Lake Counties", published in 1881. Mount Veeder is the most prominent peak in the area at over 2677 feet elevation and has been acknowledged as a significant wine producing area since the 1870's . The first winery in the area was built by John Hein in 1880 and six other wineries were known to exist in the area by the mid 1880's.

Wine production in the Mount Veeder area was significantly diminished with the onset of Phylloxera in the late 1880's and while some small scale winegrowing remained, many of those producers later converted to grape juice, or were closed by the passing of Prohibition in 1920. One of the only wine producers allowed to continue production during Prohibition was the Christian Brothers, or "Brothers of the Christian Schools", a religious Catholic group devoted to education. The Christian Brothers produced Altar Wines, or wines made specifically for use as Communion wine and intended for use as part of the celebration of the Eucharist. However, after the passing of the 21st Amendment in 1933, the Christian Brothers began making table wines as well, from their Mont LaSalle winery on Mount Veeder.

Since prohibition, wine production in the Mount Veeder AVA has continued to grow, with over 1000 acres of land planted with grapevines and over 35 vintners producing wine. Mount Veeder was officially recognized as an American Viticultural Area in 1993.


"The Mount Veeder AVA encompasses a large area but it is so rugged that the vineyards are mostly small and isolated, constituting a patchwork when viewed from above. Mount Veeder combines the shallow soil of its mountain location with the cool marine air flowing up from the nearby San Pablo Bay, a combination that yields small berries of concentrated complexity."
- Carole Meredith, Lagier Meredith Vineyard

Notable Wines sourced from Mount Veeder AVA

Elizabeth Spencer
Elizabeth Spencer 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker’s Notes Opaque purple with ruby highlights. Dense nose with blackberry and violet aromas and undercurrents of cherry, fresh leather and sage. Accompanying flavors of black fruit and black pepper with just a hint of sage. Firm and broad on the palate, intense yet not weighty and with hallmark Mount Veeder tannins in full effect. Excellent grip and finish with long lingering flavors of black plum.

View Winery Profile

Alpha Omega
Alpha Omega 2018 'Drew Vineyard' Chardonnay

Alpha Omega’s Drew Vineyard takes its name from George Drew, who first purchased this property in 1889. Realizing the amazing potential of this vineyard, Alpha Omega acquired the property in 2015. At an altitude of 1,500 feet, this cool-climate site in the Mount Veeder AVA boasts well- drained, rocky soils producing smaller berries high in natural acidity and tannins.

View Winery Profile

VGS Chateau Potelle
VGS Chateau Potelle 2016 'VGS' Cabernet Sauvignon

VGS Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Mount Veeder, Napa Valley

View Winery Profile

V. Sattui Winery
V. Sattui Winery 2009 'Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon' Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2009 Mount Veeder Cabernet has expressive, mountain-bred flavors of crushed berry, cassis and plum, punctuated by bright herbal notes and cedar. Store at cellar temperature and enjoy over the next three to five years with a variety of foods, especially well-seasoned or spicy meat dishes, stews and casseroles. The wine has just enough latter-palate tannins to suggest it will only get better with time.

View Winery Profile

Mount Veeder Resources and References

  1. "§ 9.123 Mt. Veeder" (Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Part 9 — American Viticultural Areas; Subpart C — Approved American Viticultural Areas). Code of Federal Regulations. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
  2. Mount Veeder Appellation. (n.d.). Retrieved September 23, 2022, from https://www.mtveederwines.com/
  3. Our history. Christian Brothers Retreat & Conference Center. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2022, from https://www.christianbrosretreat.com/our-history
  4. Mercer, C. (2016, January 25). Guide to Mount Veeder AVA, the new California home of Pontet-Canet’s Tesseron family. Decanter. Retrieved September 23, 2022, from https://www.decanter.com/learn/guide-to-mount-veeder-ava-mayacamas-mountains-napa-valley-289246/
  5. Palmer, Lyman L.; Wells, Harry Laurenz (1881). History of Napa and Lake Counties, California. Slocum, Bowen & Company. ISBN 978-1363000555.
  6. Weber, Lin (1998). Old Napa Valley: The History to 1900. Wine Ventures Publishing. ISBN 9780966701401.

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