The Mount Veeder AVA is a nested Napa Valley appellation situated in the south of the valley just north of Los Carneros. The region’s vicinity to the San Pablo Bay and its vineyards’ expositions on eastern facing slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains make it one of the coolest AVAs in Napa. It’s also one of the largest in terms of total acreage. Yet due to the mountainous jagged terrain, vineyards are small. Consequently, this wine region is home to small, artisanal producers.
For wine lovers wishing to go wine tasting on Mount Veeder, advanced planning is advised. Many wineries here are invite only and the rest require reservations. If you’re planning a visit, be sure to make it earlier in the day before other wine tasting stops, as the roads are steep and winding. Though it’s worth the drive to the top of Mount Veeder simply for the expansive views of Napa Valley below.
Climate, Soil & More
The Mount Veeder AVA has a cool to moderate climate with 10-15° cooler temperatures than the valley floor during peak growing season. There is also less diurnal temperature change here, meaning grape maturation is slow and steady. Summer temperatures rarely climb over 85°F and the region receives moderate rainfall of around 35 in (89 cm) annually.
Average vineyard elevations sit at around 1400 ft (426 m) above sea level. While the highest peaks of Mount Veeder reach up to 2,600 ft (792 m).
Soils on the mountain are mainly sedimentary rock with a sandy or sandy-loam consistency. They’re well-draining and acidic, ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon – a variety for which the Mount Veeder AVA is famous.
Main Grapes of the AVA
Beyond Cabernet Sauvignon, look to Mount Veeder for Merlot, Zinfandel, and Chardonnay. Even if you can’t make it to a winery on the mountain for a tasting, many wineries offer wines with fruit sourced from vineyards here.
The Best Mount Veeder Wineries
- Hess Collection – one of the oldest Mount Veeder Wineries.
- Mount Veeder Winery – no tasting experiences, but a great option to order wines from this AVA and experience the terroir.
- Progeny – for wine enthusiasts looking for an elevated experience and those prepared to drop some cash.
- Fontanella Family Winery – family-owned with noteworthy Cabernet Sauvignon and more, plus a more accessibly priced tasting experience.
Where does Mount Veeder’s name come from?
It’s named after Reverend Peter V. Veeder, who was a local Presbyterian pastor in the 1850s.
Who owns Mount Veeder Winery?
Michael and Arlene Bernstein were the first to plant grapevines on Mount Veeder in 1970. They started the winery with the encouragement of local wine legend Robert Mondavi. Learn more here.
Where is Mount Veeder?
Mount Veeder is located in the south of the Napa Valley AVA. The Mount Veeder AVA is situated on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas mountain range, which separates Napa and Sonoma.