Viader Vineyards & WineryWinemakers
Born in Argentina, proprietor Delia Viader spent much of her formative years in Europe and especially in France (her father was in the Diplomatic corps). 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 in 1984. 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 Napa Valley as a wine region nearby and with an initial loan from her father, Walter Viader, she acquired the Howell Mountain property and set out to create a world class wine estate. All while raising four children on her own. Delia forged the vision and design for this unique hillside estate vineyard property, wine blend and brand in 1986.
Always "daring to be different," Delia decided to bring the Bordeaux style of winemaking and pioneered unique 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 (1989 VIADER), 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.
Delia's son, Alan Viader, is responsible for winemaking operations and her daughter Janet Viader oversees the winery's sales and marketing efforts. Delia remains deeply involved in directing the family business, and is the ultimate self-proclaimed "wine-mother" (mother of the vines, wines, and the winemaker!).
Alan Viader spent his childhood on his family'sÂ Howell Mountain vineyard estate in Napa Valley. 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 has studied, visited, and worked harvest in world-famous wine regions of Argentina, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and California.
Always drawn to working in the vineyard, Alan started as vineyard manager at VIADER in 2002, and spent his "down time" post-harvest working in all areas of wine production. He formally moved into winemaking in 2006, under the gentle guidance and mentorship of Bordeaux-based consulting enologist Michel Rolland. As the right hand to founder Delia Viader, he has the opportunity of overseeing production from start to finish. Having inherited his mother’s passion for winemaking and expressing the terroir, Alan is looking forward to many exciting vintages in the family business.