Our Vineyard

Swipe right above for more pictures …

Mount Veeder and I go back a long way. When I was still an undergraduate at UC Davis I spent time with Dr. Carole Meredith and Steve Lagier up at their place on Mt. Veeder and took care of the place (and their cats) when they left on trips. I loved the seclusion, the quiet and the exhilarating views down over the valley, the hiking trails, the wildlife and the redwoods. It was around that time also that I first discovered the 70s wines of Mayacamas. They really moved me but it was only years later, when I came to them again after having tasted so many great wines from around the world that I realized how good they really were.

Then while working at St. Clement in 2001 I fell in love with the cab I was making with fruit from Betty Oshaughnessey’s Progeny vineyard on Mt. Veeder. And just as I was forming the dream of owning a piece of property somewhere in Napa and striking out on my own suddenly…pop…a real estate sign came up on the side of the road that I drove past on my way to Progeny.

It was a run down house on 76 acres, but a had wonderful vineyard potential, straddling both sides of a narrow ridge that runs northwest to southeast along the Mayacamas range. Mt. Veeder soils are unusual; they are the oldest in the valley, and produce wines of suppleness and elegance – my kind of wines. I saw it straight away. Claire my wife took more convincing and there were times during the years-long process of erosion control plans, biological surveys, timber harvest permits, conflicts over easements, worries about money that she almost threw in the towel (she certainly threw some other things!) But we had good times along the way too; twilight hikes with Napa County biologist Ted Wooster looking for Spotted Owls, bonfire parties and games of rough golf , ATV rides, camping and tree climbing on our own back forty. And then in 2011…the victory! After years of hiking that 5 acre soon-to-be-vineyard I knew every contour, every aspect like the back of my hand and I knew exactly what to plant…

I plan to make 3 different wines: one inspired by my time spent on Bordeaux’s on the Right Bank (mainly Merlot and Franc with a little bit of Cabernet Sauvignon), then more of the Incubo if the quality is good enough and a Viognier.