Rebirth of the Cool

Picture yourself driving along the twists and turns of a mountain highway, with a canopy of redwood, bay and madrone trees alongside the road. Overhead, dapples of sunlight beam through the branches so the landscape seems to sparkle. A clearing reveals vineyard rows that reach up the mountainside, surrounded by trees. The vineyards here aren’t contiguous. They’re individualistic and on varied slopes, separated by forests and time. Each has a distinct personality — much like the people to whom they belong.

Mt. Veeder is a place where individuals are intent on expressing their unique characteristics. Its remote feel attracts artists, recluses and, of course, winegrowers. Many are separated by acres of land, but all share a common goal: to grow top-quality grapes that make the finest wine possible.

The mountain is 25 square miles (15,000 acres) in size, and is the largest subappellation that’s entirely within the larger Napa Valley AVA. It stretches from the Carneros region, just east of the Sonoma County line, to the north as far as Glen Ellen and Oakville. Only 1,000 acres are planted to vineyards. The rest is made up of steep slopes, family homes and getaways, wild lands, hummingbirds, dragonflies and a history that’s equally as rich as the deep, intense wine that’s the true expression of Mt. Veeder.

- Julie Fadda, September, 2009

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