Founding winemaker Delia Viader, PhD. applies a unique approach to grape growing and wine making, challenging new world conventions while honoring old world traditions; resulting in a highly sought after and coveted cult wine – their flagship Viader® Proprietary Red Blend. Delia forged the vision for this hillside estate vineyard and exceptional wine blend in 1986.
Today Viader® Vineyards is a thriving multi-generational family business as son Alan continues to produce world-class wines from their magnificent, mature estate vineyard on Howell Mountain. For an elevated yet welcoming level of hospitality, please contact us. Tours and Tastings are offered by appointment only.
Delia Viader, Founder and “Wine Mother”
Born in Argentina, proprietor Delia Viader spent much of her formative years in Europe and especially in France. Delia came to the United States as a post-graduate student and holds a doctorate in Philosophy from the Sorbonne University in Paris, France and pursued advanced business Studies at three American universities: MIT, UC Berkeley and UC Davis.
After MIT, she moved to California and continued business school at the University of California Berkeley. During her studies, she realized the opportunities in the United States for both starting a career and raising children in a healthy environment.
Recognizing the potential of the up and coming wine region nearby, Delia soon set her sights on purchasing land in the Napa Valley and subsequently plunged into the wine business in the early 1980s. With an initial loan from her father, Engr. Walter Viader, she acquired their Howell Mountain property and set out to create a world class wine estate.
Delia continued learning about winemaking through programs in Enology and Viticulture offered at University of California, Davis to better learn the practical theory behind making fine wine. All while raising four children on her own, Delia forged the vision and design for this unique estate vineyard property, wine blend and brand. Delia’s story illustrates the importance of education and understanding coupled with following one’s instincts. The Viader® estate and Delia’s wines have consistently reflected these strengths.
As a leader within the local wine community, Delia contributes her perspective and industry experience to the Napa Valley Vintners and California Wine Institute where she currently serves on the Board for both organizations. Her history with the Napa Valley Vintners dates as far back as 1990 where she and a select group of local vintner leaders helped frame the organization’s strategic plan. Since then, Delia has helped spearhead Premiere Napa Valley – an annual grand tasting and futures trade auction that consistently raises more than $4 million each year, and has also contributed to Auction Napa Valley in various roles, spending a decade as part of the beneficiary vetting committee and helping to set the focus and parameters that would determine adjudication of funds.
Alan Viader, Winemaker
Alan spent his childhood on his family’s vineyard estate on Howell Mountain. His early education in wine and formal schooling helped shape his respect for terroir-driven wines, organic farming, and diverse viticultural practices from around the world.
He started working in the family vineyards at the age of nine and continued to help throughout his childhood, including working as cellarhand in the caves at Viader®. After high school, he pursued his passion for grape growing with a hands-on program in Sonoma where he received a degree in Viticulture Management. In 2002, Alan officially stepped in as Vineyard Manager for Viader® in 2002, while simultaneously continuing his education at UC Davis, where he learned the fundamentals in winemaking. In 2005, Alan worked a harvest at Achavel-Ferrer winery in Mendoza, Argentina, which convinced him that winemaking was his calling. Alan officially stepped in as lead winemaker for Viader® in 2006. Today, he continues to oversee vineyard management operations while working in all areas of wine production together with his mother, Delia at Viader®.
An avid adventurer and seasoned traveler, Alan continues to visit the world’s best wine producers and wine growing regions throughout Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. In 2013, he went to the University of Sciences Agro to study viticulture in Bordeaux, France.
A hands-on experimentalist and eternal student of the vine, Alan has been at the forefront of trialing and adopting the right combination of organic, biodynamic and sustainable practices, not to mention new technology integrations that optimally benefit the quality of Viader® wines. In the cellar, Alan has been equally fervent about delivering better quality results, experimenting with different blends, yeasts, fermentations, barreling, etc., always open to new ideas, trials and opportunities to responsibly deliver improved quality wines.
Alan is married to Mariela, his Guatemalan sweetheart and dedicated mother to their three children. He loves grilling, hiking, camping and riding Enduro motorcycles throughout the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, but can sometime be found exploring dirt tracks in Baja California, Mexico. Alan is also a member of the Napa County Sheriff’s Volunteer Search & Rescue team.
As the right-hand to his mother & founder, Delia Viader, Alan oversees Viader® production from start to finish. Having inherited his mother’s passion for winemaking and expressing Viader®’s unique terroir, Alan is looking forward to continuing the family business for many exciting vintages and generations to come.