Delia Viader

Delia Viader

Viader Vineyards (Founder & "Wine Mother")

Delia Viader was born in Argentina and came to the U.S. as a post-graduate student. She holds a doctorate in Philosophy from the Sorbonne University in Paris, France and pursued advanced business degrees at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley in the U.S.

She fell in love with California when she was a student at Berkeley and was attracted to the wine industry. Delia’s father, who was her first true "believer," helped her financially for the initial seven-year investment in her winery.

After founding VIADER in 1986, Delia studied enology and viticulture at the University of California, Davis to better learn the practical theory behind making fine wine Her first vintage was 1989, when she produced 1,200 cases of wine. Today, Delia has a production total of 7,500 cases under the VIADER, “V”, and DARE labels.

Delia found that 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 comprising 40 percent Cabernet Franc and 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, a combination that is now her signature wine. In 2003, she started the DARE line that focuses on single varieties and includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, and Cabernet Franc.

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. At the time, she met strong opposition and criticism for planting her vines in this way, simply because it had never been done before. However, 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.

In 2002, her son Alan came on board, first to manage the vineyards and later to be the Director of Operations. He is the winemaker for Viader. Delia’s family (she has four children) and fascination with fine wines have been her primary motivations for starting her beautiful winery overlooking the Napa Valley.