The Hess Collection of Wines Are Artfully Executed Free public access to view the founder's private art collection is offered to visitors who also get to enjoy exquisite wines. BY TOURING & TASTING
Photos courtesy of Hess Collection
Goats tend to the vineyard in just one of many sustainable steps taken.
“ Housed in the original stone building constructed in 1903, the winery first opened to the public in 1989.”
Hidden away in the hills of Napa along a scenic road ascending Mount Veeder, the Hess Collection is a world-class winery that combines founder Donald Hess’ passion for unique vineyards and excellent wine with his appreciation of fine modern art.
Donald, who was born in Switzerland, grew up surrounded by the finest vineyards of Europe, and after developing an interest in winegrowing, decided he wanted to build a beautiful vineyard that could produce quality wine. In the early 1970s, he began searching for a suitable site, and when he came to the Napa Valley for a business trip, he knew he had found the right place.
His research on the region led him to Mount Veeder, where he discovered vineyards with an ideal combination of soils and microclimates for yielding wine grapes of distinctive character. He acquired his first land on the mountain in 1978 and started to make handcrafted, small-lot wines, marking the beginning of the Hess Collection.
Housed in the original stone building constructed in 1903, the winery first opened to the public in 1989. It has since become a leader in sustainable practices and has earned international recognition for its excellent wine, culinary, and visitor programs. In addition to hosting daily tastings, the winery offers private educational tours and special experiences such as wine pairings with small plates, artisan cheeses, and chocolates.
The winery also provides free public access to Donald’s extensive contemporary art collection, which showcases everything from paintings to sculptures. Guests can take a self-guided tour of the two-floor museum and see the works of renowned and emerging artists, including Magdalena Abakanowicz, Franz Gertsch, Anselm Kiefer, and Robert Motherwell.
With the number of activities available, visitors can easily spend an entire afternoon at the winery exploring the lush grounds, taking in the majestic mountain views, and enjoying the exceptional wines of the Hess Collection.
What to Buy '12 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon - $60
Cherry, raspberries, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, oak spice
'13 Mount Veeder Chardonnay - $40
White peach, nectarine, pear, persimmon, no oak
'12 Mount Veeder 19 Block Mountain Cuvée - $38
Blueberries, black licorice, black currant, oak spice, vanilla, clove
Contemporary art museum, wine club discounts, private tastings and tours by appointment, culinary events, sustainable farming practices.