Veeder Ridge Vineyard
First planted by George Rubissow in 1984, the 18-acre Veeder Ridge Vineyard straddles a steep ridge on the southern flank of rugged Mount Veeder in Napa Valley’s Mayacamas mountains. The vineyard blocks are planted at altitudes from 600 to 950 feet above sea level. The blocks on the north side of the ridge face the mountain with views up Redwood Creek canyon to the historic Mont La Salle. The south-facing blocks fall away to the Carneros with views to Mt. Diablo, Mt. Tamalpais and San Francisco Bay.
The vineyard sits on rock strata composed of sand, silt, and clay. The sediments are a product of volcanic eruptions over a hundred million years ago in what is now the Sierra Nevada range, carried to the sea by torrential floods. The forces causing earthquakes along the West Napa fault have deformed the crust creating the Mayacamas Mountains from the ancient seabed. Distinct from the volcanic soils elsewhere in the Napa Valley, the soil at Veeder Ridge bears this distinct marine signature. A relevant consequence for the vineyard, the same forces have, on a smaller scale, greatly deformed the old sediment layers leaving them noticeably disrupted: twisted, buckled, scrambled and smashed, creating a degree of heterogeneity in the soil that contributes to the vineyards complex and layered wine.
When developing the original vineyard, Rubissow consulted with famed winemaker André Tchelistcheff about what to plant on the site. Cool morning air combined with warm afternoons and limited direct sun made the north side of the vineyard ideal for whites. The south side of the ridge, with southern and western exposure and Bay breezes that moderate the diurnal temperature fluctuations was ideal for Bordeaux reds. Ripening slowly and harvested late in the season, Veeder Ridge red grapes develop assertive flavors with restrained tannins, fine and smooth in texture, and natural acidity.
In 2020 we began an ambitious replant of the entire Veeder Ridge Vineyard, modernizing the infrastructure and reorienting the vine rows to take advantage of the knowledge gained over 35 years growing grapes on the property. As we steward Veeder Ridge in the coming years, we will continue to follow Tchelistcheff’s advice, planting the north side predominantly in whites and developing the south side of the ridge as a world-class vineyard for Bordeaux-style reds.