The Land


Tucked away at the northern point of the Rutherford Bench, the Helms Vineyard showcases the typical characteristics for this appellation. Our eastern facing hillside vineyards and diversity in soil range from alluvial deposits to sticky clays in blocks closer to the creek. Additionally, coarse gravels and even areas of exposed rhyolite bedrock lend to an elegant wine with intensity yet remaining texturally soft and rounded.

Vaso Cellars - Helms Vineyard
Vaso Cellars - Helms Vineyard

Helms Vineyard History

The 8.07-acre (3.26 hectare) Helms Vineyard surrounds the restored ruins of German Viticulturist H.W. Helms’ 1883 stone winery. Helms was forced to abandon his winery during Prohibition, yet his legacy lives on as the site of his original winery is now our home at Dana Estates. We have given the name of this special vineyard site to Helms as a tribute to his pioneering spirit and keen instincts.

Vaso Cellars - Helms Vineyard
Vaso Cellars - Helms Vineyard

140 years of viticulture

Today, when we evaluate a site, we have a great deal of science, technology and historical data on our side. In the 19th century, viticulturists like H.W. Helms were reliant on their own experience and instinct. We wish we knew more about Mr. Helms because the site that he selected for his vineyard and winery is in our minds one of the most special in the entire Napa Valley. We are fortunate to have alluvial deposits typical of the St. Helena and Rutherford appellation that meet with areas of rhyolite bedrock nearly at the surface. This type of diversity in such a small vineyard is not common and lends to unique characteristics in the wine. The famous Rutherford ‘dusty tannins,’ exotic purple florals such as violet on the nose, and black tea on the palate can be found in our wine from this special site.

Vaso Cellars - Helms Vineyard

Soil Types


In the Wine

Aromas of violet, ‘dusty’ tannins, black tea

Clonal Selections

Cabernet Sauvignon: 4, 337, SEE


Cabernet Sauvignon: 1103P, 5BB, 110R, St. George, 420A, 1616c

The Winery

An arduous renovation of the 130-year-old ghost winery was completed and incorporated into a state-of-the-art winery and cave system in 2009 under the meticulous guidance of architect, Howard Backen. This winery, built specifically in Dana Estates’ vision for single vineyard expression with three unique fermentation rooms for three unique vineyards, is now also home to the production of the VASO Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Here, our winemaking team, lead by Chris Cooney, has the tools at their disposal to craft the finest wines our vineyards have to offer.

the Historic Rooster Barn

Set above the winery and in the shadow of the Mayacamas Mountain Range is our 130-year-old Historic Rooster Barn. Renovated to honor its rustic roots, the barn remains in its original serene setting with a perspective to regain a connection with the rich history of the Napa Valley.

Vaso Cellars - Helms Vineyard
Vaso Cellars - Helms Vineyard

To understand VASO, you must first understand the land upon which the grapes are grown. VASO represents our four distinct vineyard sites spread throughout the Napa Valley. Whether it be through the technical and measurable characteristics of slope, aspect, soil type, sunlight hours, or the more spiritual intangibles that make a site unique and lend the fruit its singular personality, the land is the vital core of our wines and our vision for the future.

Hershey     Helms     Crystal Springs     Lotus