One of Napa’s Great Classics
Mayacamas Vineyards knows sustainability. Beyond the Mount Veeder estate winery’s continued use of its 1889-built cellar, ownership has made a commitment to organic viticulture, one of the reasons that winemaker Braiden Albrecht joined the team in 2013 when the Schottenstein family purchased the historic winery, now certified Napa Green.
“I am excited to continue the legacy of great winemaking and grape growing at this historic estate,” said Albrecht, a Sonoma native who trained with Phil Coturri of Enterprise Vineyards, a leader in organic viticulture. “The first thing we did was shift to organic practices with an eye toward biodynamics. It’s the right thing to do; we have a responsibility given our location within this rugged Mount Veeder terrain where we cohabitate with varied wildlife. Our 50 vineyard acres range from 1800 to 2400 feet in elevation; everything we do up here has a potential impact downstream.”
The Mayacamas label evokes a sense of heritage and tradition. Only three varietals are produced: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. Each is lush, each is award-winning, and each is made utilizing traditional techniques. “Really, you can’t do better than Mayacamas Vineyards for California wine profoundness… the source of some of Napa Valley’s most significant wines, both red and white,” said Matt Kramer of Wine Spectator.
One of the few Mount Veeder wineries with a tasting room on the mountain, Mayacamas welcomes by- appointment guests who are cautioned that this is not a typical stop along Silverado Trail or Highway 29. The climb from the valley floor takes about 35 minutes through winding, forested roads. Add an immersive tasting experience, and guests must allow for at least half of a day. But a new and convenient Downtown Napa tasting room, adjacent to Archer Hotel, allows for an effortless introduction to the brand, its history, and the wines. “This is a great place to learn about Mayacamas and hopefully what is the beginning of a lasting relationship with us,” said Kris Kraner, Mayacamas’ marketing and DTC sales director.
“Mayacamas is a very special place,” said wine club member Matt, who appreciates the winery’s familial vibe. “Set one foot within the mountain winery and you’re surrounded by nature’s beauty, captivated by the history, welcomed like friends, and drinking some of the best, most timeless wines Napa can offer. This is classic Cabernet and Chardonnay, showing balance, restraint, and freshness that is nearly impossible to find in Napa today.”
“We are kind of old school,” said Albrecht. “Yet we are constantly focused on improving the ranch, the vineyards, the winemaking, and guests’ experience with the brand.”
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