Viader Vineyards & Winery – Walk in my steps, but leave your own footprint.
This could very well echo the sentiment of Delia Viader to her son Alan Viader. Delia Viader came to the United States from Argentina after receiving her PhD in philosophy from Sorbonne, in Paris. It was her training in philosophy, questioning via the dialectic method, to find “her truth”. This is not a simple story but is told in great detail in her autobiography called “Daring to Stand Alone, An Entrepreneur’s Journey”. This story is one of fighting the odds, having a vision and overcoming many obstacles in order to find your place and bring meaning to your life. Delia’s book is as deep in character as her vineyard roots on the Howell Mountain hillside. A fascinating book to read.
The break through news to get Viader wines on the map, was in 2000 when Delia found out that her 1997 Viader, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, was going to be in the Top 100 wines by Wine Spectator magazine. And more specifically, her Viader was rated #2 of the Top 100 wines. Her accolades continued at an outstanding pace with the wines consistently rated highly.
In 2002, Alan came to work as the vineyard manager, taking his experience in various areas like Spain, Portugal and of course Argentina and France. In 2005, a tragedy struck with a fire at their warehouse storage along with many others. She lost her entire 2003 vintage and had nothing to show for a year. She continue going to wine and trade shows with a barrel and handmade labels to “show her great wines”. She literally turned the business around and out of the ashes, a modern Phoenix woman. She spun her business from a distribution wine business to a DTC, direct to customer within months. No small feat for a family run business.
In 2006 Alan took over the winemaking for Viader wines and has continued the legacy. Today the production is just under 5,000 cases. Alan, continues the labels that Delia started like the 2015 Dare, 100% Cabernet Franc, 2015 Viader Black Label (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Malbec) and 2015 Viader Signature of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, 69% & 31% respectively. These intense wines are as Delia stated “not hijacking your taste buds but makes you come back for more” and they are smooth and silky. Today this is where Alan is adding his own unique perspective, with a slight touch more oak.
To that end, they have just introduced Homenaje. This wine made by Alan, is to showcase the wineries 30 year anniversary and pay homage to both Delia and his grandfather for their vision, help and accomplishments. It is a blend of predominately Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon with a small amount of Cabernet Franc & Petite Verdot. This is an outstanding treat to enjoy! Alan stated he wanted to bring forth “an expression through new things” like adding Malbec to the Viader lineup. The family business is in great hands moving forward under Alan, and he is leaving his unique footprint is the steps of his mother.
check Instagram “California Wines & Wineries” for upcoming wine reviews of Viader.