Viader Proprietary Red 1996
Blend: 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Cabernet Franc
Born in Argentina, Delia Viader came to the United States after spending many years in Europe. In 1986 the love of wine Delia acquired during her time in Europe lead her to purchase a 25 acre property 1200 feet above the Napa Valley floor northeast of St. Helena on the steep, rocky slopes of Howell Mountain. During this time when 99% of Napa’s vineyards were planted on the valley floor, Delia was considered a bit crazy-headed to plant vineyards in such foreboding terroir. But it was exactly terroir that she was after.
Delia’s first release was a proprietary red blend from the 1989 vintage called simply Viader with a blend of almost equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The wine quickly gained an international reputation as one of the iconic wines of the Napa Valley and has become the signature wine for the winery.
With the release of the 2003 vintage the winery introduced the Dare label; a group of varietally labeled wines which are produced from a selection of estate fruit along with fruit sourced from their neighbors and friends. Current releases include a Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and a Tempranillo.
While raising four children on her own, Delia forged the vision and design for this unique estate vineyard property, wine blend and brand. In the last few years, Delia’s children have come back to help manage and operate the business making this a true family concern. Alan Viader is Director of Operations and Winemaking, Janet Viader is Director of Marketing and Sales. Mariela Viader (married to Alan) is in charge of the Culinary Program.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.