History

Mount Veeder was named for the Dutch Presbyterian pastor, Peter Veeder, who lived in Napa during the Civil War Era and enjoyed hiking on the mountain, where the Douglas Firs and Bristlecone Pines reminded him of the forests of home.

It was during those Wild West days that winemaking on Mount Veeder was first recorded; in 1864 Captain Stelham Wing presented the first Mount Veeder bottling in the Napa County Fair, a wine hailing from today’s Wing Canyon Vineyard.

The Germanic thread continued with the founding in the 1880's of the Streich Winery--today's Yates Family Vineyard--by Ernest Streich, and the Fisher Winery--today's Mayacamas Vineyards--by John Henry Fisher, of Stuttgart. Commercial scale production arrived on Mount Veeder in 1900 when Theodore Geir, a colorful and flamboyant German-born Oakland liquor dealer, bought the property that would later become the Christian Brothers' Mont La Salle Winery--today's Hess Collection Winery. By the late 1890's, there were some 20 vineyards and 6 wineries on the slopes of Mount Veeder. Prohibition diminished the vineyards, which revitalized beginning with Mayacamas Vineyards in 1951 and Bernstein Vineyards in 1964.

During the 1960’s Mount Veeder became a haven for people seeking a lifestyle closer to nature. Among them were Arlene and Michael Bernstein, whose 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon was the first wine to bear the Mount Veeder designation on the label.

Petit Verdot first came to California in 1975 via Mount Veeder, at the Bernstein’s vineyards. Cuttings from that site are the origin of most Petit Verdot in Napa Valley today.

With the first California vineyard planted to all five of the classic red Bordeaux varieties, the Bernsteins were also the first in the state to produce a Meritage style wine using all five grapes, like the great chateaux of Bordeaux.

Based on Mount Veeder’s incomparable mix of steep slopes, predominance of seabed soil, and proximity to San Pablo Bay - AVA status was granted in 1993. 

From the deep roots of the pioneering German farmers, Mount Veeder wines continue to reflect the impassioned spirit of the vintners who grow them through this day.