Argentine born Delia Viader came to the United States as a post-graduate college student. Even before establishing VIADER, Delia Viader found she was decidedly more attracted to Old World wines. She was particularly impressed by the wines of Chateau Cheval Blanc in St. Emilion, from which she based the idea for her first blend, the 1989 VIADER (40% cabernet franc, 60% cabernet sauvignon). Always "daring to be different," Delia decided to bring the Bordeaux style of winemaking and vineyard cultivation to the California hillside by planting the vines in rows going up and down the mountain, following the path of the afternoon sun down the steep slopes of Howell Mountain. This European planting design had never before been implemented in the area. Soon after successfully releasing her first vintage, it was clear that her efforts to develop the vineyard were worthwhile. With optimal sun exposure, and unique soil that allows for natural drainage, the vines struggle to survive in the rocky terroir and produce fruit of exceptional quality.
Delia's story illustrates the importance of education and understanding coupled with following one's instincts. VIADER Winery and her wines have consistently reflected these strengths.
Since childhood, Alan has assisted in the vineyards at VIADER, primarily working during his summer vacation. Today he looks back fondly on those early summer mornings when he was responsible for manually clearing the piles of rocks from between the rows to allow the tractor to pass… In college, he formally pursued his interest in viticulture with a hands-on program in Sonoma and he learned the fundamentals of winemaking at UC Davis. There, he accumulated more knowledge and respect for the organic farming principles he grew up with at VIADER. Alan also spearheaded the biodynamic project with consultant Phillipe Armenier, integrating the biodynamic calendar and several herbal treatments to the vines and in the cellar with fervor. Alan has been managing the VIADER vineyards since 2002, but has worked in all areas of wine production, and also national sales. In 2005, looking to gain more winery experience, Alan worked the harvest in Mendoza, Argentinawith close friends Manuel Ferrer Minettti and Santiago Achaval from Bodega Achaval-Ferrer. While in Argentina, he was picking fruit from hundred-year-old Malbec vines, and soon after, out of his appreciation for the Bordeaux varietal, he installed 174 vines of Malbec at VIADER to have “something to play with.” The following year in 2006, Alan started dedicating his time to both vineyard management and winemaking, and would later become the Director of Operations, responsible for the 2005 wines at VIADER. As Delia's right-hand, Alan has the opportunity of overseeing production from start to finish. And having inherited his mother’s passion for winemaking and expressing the terroir, Alan is looking forward to many exciting vintages in the family business.
Delia Viader, Alan Viader, Dany Rolland (Michel's wife)
Thierry Haberer (family friend) and Michel Rolland
Consulting Enologist Michel Rolland is an influential Bordeaux-based oenologist, consulting with about 80 wineries in Bordeaux, some 55 of which are on the Right Bank; Merlot and the lusher, Right-Bank style are seen as being his specialty, though he works with many other grapes as well. And in other places: 10 foreign countries in all.
Rolland works with two other independent consultants, Athanase Fakorellis and Pascal Chatonnet. His wife Dany runs the company laboratory and many aspects of the family wineries, Chateaux Le Bon Pasteur, Fontenil in Fronsac and La Grande Clotte in Lussac.