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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.

Elevation:

  • 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.

Soils:

  • 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

Climate:

  • 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)

Rainfall:

  • 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.




Quotes

"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

Grape Culture
Grape Culture 2021 'NOSOTROS' Cabernet Sauvignon

100% Nosotros Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder

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Frank Family Vineyards
Frank Family Vineyards 2014 'Reserve Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon' Cabernet Sauvignon

The Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon is made with fruit sourced from several vineyard sites in the Mount Veeder appellation, and is made exclusively for Frank Family's wine club members.

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Robert Craig Winery
Robert Craig Winery 2010 'Mount Veeder' Cabernet Sauvignon

When Robert Craig first came to Napa Valley in the late 1970’s, he headed to Mount Veeder in the southwestern Mayacamas range. There he spent the next 12 years learning about mountain vineyards and came to regard Mount Veeder one of the premiere Appellations for world-class Cabernet Sauvignons. The single-vineyard source that he consulted on planting in 1990 is located at 1800+ feet along Mount Veeder's summit in the southern Mayacamas range. Average yield is 2.4 tons/acre.

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Vineyard 36
Vineyard 36 2019 'The King's Storm' Cabernet Franc

The King's Storm was hand crafted from Amentet Vineyard on Mount Veeder, planted and farmed by the same man who managed and farmed the adjacent property at Pym Rae.

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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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