The Land


At the very top of Howell Mountain sits our largest and most topographically complex site, the Hershey Vineyard. Bowl-shaped with undulating hills within, every aspect to the sun possible is represented here. The diversity of soil can be seen with the naked eye and situated at an elevation of 1,800 feet, temperatures are cooler, ideal for retaining acidity in the grapes we grow. The Hershey vineyard is planted to classic red Bordeaux grape varietals and is our lone vineyard planted with a small block of Sauvignon Blanc. With over 60% of the VASO Cabernet Sauvignon blend coming from the Hershey Vineyard—this site is truly the beginning of our story.

Vaso Cellars - Hershey Vineyard
Vaso Cellars - Hershey Vineyard

the soil and why it matters

The vines planted at the Hershey Vineyard benefit from vastly diverse soil types. The porous make up of these soils is a characteristic that each of these soil types have in common and one that that allows water to drain well from the site. Soil types such as decayed core stone volcanics, the resulting colluvium, and rhyolitic bedrock (igneous volcanic) are the main soil types found on this site and we contribute these to be what lends to a flinty minerality and salinity in our Hershey Vineyard.

Soil Types

Core Stone

In the Wine

Red fruit, freshness, flinty minerality, salinity

Clonal Selections

Cabernet Sauvignon: See, 191, 337,8 , 15, 6, 169, 4, 2
Cabernet Franc: Aida
Malbec: 9
Merlot: 181 (15)
Petit Verdot: 400
Sauvignon Blanc: Mystery


Cabernet Sauvignon: 420A, 3309, 101-14, 110R, 3309C, St. George
Cabernet Franc: 3309c
Malbec: 101-14
Merlot: 420A
Petit Verdot: 3309
Sauvignon Blanc: 420A

topographical diversity

These 34.58 planted acres (13.99 hectares) are among the most topographically complex our winemaking and viticulture teams work with. Elevation changes of up to 150 ft (45.72 meters) are common from one block to the next. Few blocks are uniform even within its own boundaries, meaning that a single block could have several aspects to the sun. In such a complex environment farming practices must be considered for each block. Decisions are never made for an entire vineyard, or even an entire block, with all our farming being done vine-by vine. This practice allows us to manage the entire vineyard and give each vine the care as if it were our only one.

Vaso Cellars - Hershey Vineyard
Vaso Cellars - Hershey Vineyard


The Hershey Vineyard sits at 1,800 ft (550 meters) above sea level at the very top of Howell Mountain. This elevation means cooler average temperatures, yet also exposure to all day sunlight. Cool nights and sunny, moderate days are ideal for our wines to have plenty of ripeness in addition to high acid retention and structured tannins.

Vaso Cellars - Hershey Vineyard

Man-made diversity

Unlike our other sites which are planted almost exclusively to Cabernet Sauvignon, development in 2008 included the planting of 1.7 acres of Sauvignon Blanc, .75 acres of Petit Verdot, 1.0 acre of Merlot, .79 acres of Cabernet Franc, and .60 acres of Malbec (on this site alone we use 14 unique clones and 6 different rootstocks.) These varieties allow for higher quality wines, more creative freedom when blending, and more complexity in the final VASO blend.

Vaso Cellars - Hershey 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