Diamond and Spring Mountains in Napa Valley, as seen from
the top of Mount St. Helena, circa 1966
JUST A QUICK SPIN FROM THE PACIFIC OCEAN, you’ll find the spectacular hillside vineyards of our Vitesse wines. The dramatic terrain of Napa Valley, punctuated by its five mountain growing areas, moderate temperatures, stony soils, lengthened growing seasons and longer hang time on the vine, produces fruit with natural acidity, structure and distinctive varietal character that celebrates the cycle of life. Vitesse strives to express terroir that blends altitude and soil, fog and sun, season and spirit into wines that cross the finish line into greatness.
The Name & The Symbol
“Vitesse” (of French origin) is speed or velocity in French. “Changer de vitesse” is a cycling term for shifting gears. We hope our wines help you to shift gears and enjoy the scenery for awhile before you jump back into the race.
Our symbol is a chainring, that unsung hero of cycling that the chain attaches to in order to transfer energy from your body to the wheels and take you where you want to go. Each time it turns you return to the beginning, not unlike the route taken when striving to make great things such as wine. And while you may cover the route many times, if you’re paying attention you may sense nuances you didn’t know were there.
Why Hillside Grapes?
When the discussion turns to “terroir,” or the unique soil and weather characteristics in a particular location that affect the taste of wine grapes, we pay particular heed to the distinctiveness of hillside-grown wine grapes. Vineyards planted on a steep slope typically have good drainage and low levels of nutrients. This forces deeper root growth and healthier vines that, with proper care and attention, produce smaller yields and more intense flavors in the grapes than those from less challenging vineyards in the flatlands.