Located a few minutes’ drive from CADE (in the Napa Valley AVA) you will come to Viader. Exit your car, step into the congenial tasting room, gaze out at the bucolic vista, sit on the deck and exhale as you marvel in the magical landscape before your eyes. You have just left behind the stress of the outside world, even if for just a little while. Although you will be tempted to sit, sip, relax, and just enjoy the view, a winery and cave tour with Alan Viader is a singular experience, and one you want to be certain to avail yourself of while visiting Napa Valley’s Howell Mountain district. Alan’s mother, Delia Viader, purchased undeveloped land with a loan from her father and subsequently planted the family’s vineyard in 1986. Her passion, vision and dedication has fashioned a winery producing world class, highly sought after Bordeaux style wines, under the winemaking expertise of her son, Alan.
THE EXPERIENCE: A visit to Viader is simply put, amazing. From the moment you meet any of the staff, you feel as you are part of the family. Alan Viader has grown up in the vineyards, which becomes quite apparent as he starts your journey through the property, to the caves and winery. Alan, soft spoken with a mellow personality, will tell the story of how his mother came to purchase property on Howell Mountain, developing a “first growth” vineyard that produces wines of the highest caliber. As you enter the impressive caves, and as Alan describes the terroir, the rocky slopes, the weather and all that goes into growing high quality grapes, while weaving in his own history, one thing becomes apparent: Alan, growing up and working in the vineyards from the time he was a small boy, is himself a product of the land, and this is reflected in his quiet passion, and the grapes he helps to ultimately express the vision of his mother (who is still very active in the business), through their wines. Alan will explain that his goal is “to let the wine tell the story of the vintage.” Using science and technology to help coax along the growing and winemaking process, Alan will tell you that the three most important factors are site, soil and sun. As you return to the tasting room, and sit on the balcony overlooking the serene landscape that stretches before you, the wine you taste will reflect all the nuances that Alan has spoken about. Alongside the wines you are experiencing, will be an artistically prepared plate containing small bites of cheeses, meats and breadsticks, to complement the wines. Viader’s signature wine is labeled simply, VIADER, or as the family calls it, “Liquid Cashmere,” described as cashmere for the tongue. Indeed it is, silky and elegant, the wine is sensuous and opulent; it is the ultimate expression of liquid art in a glass. Visiting with Alan is like taking a wonderful class in all things family and wine making. Together with his mother, sister Janet, wife Mariela (executive chef), Ian Dooley (tasting room manager and sommelier), Connie Caven (brand ambassador), and the rest of the Viader crew, a tight team has been formed that truly welcomes the visitor into the family.
*Organically grown, hand farmed
*Featured at some of Napa Valley’s premier restaurants:
The French Laundry, Bottega, Press, Cook, Meadowood
*2014 VIADER Proprietary Red-94 Wine Enthusiast
*2013 VIADER Proprietary Red-95 JamesSuckling.com
*Two separate and unique tasting experiences are offered (groups limited to 6)