Meet Our Winemaker
September 25th, 2019
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most nuanced wines of our region. Every AVA brings a distinct terroir to this noble varietal, and each winemaker plays their part in crafting a wine true to the land. With Chris Cooney at the helm crafting VASO Cellars wines, the truest expression of Napa Valley wine comes to play under the VASO Cellars label.
When Chris came on board in January 2015 as the winemaker for VASO Cellars under the Dana Estates portfolio, he brought with him an unparalleled ability to craft elegantly balanced, terroir-driven wines from three esteemed Napa Valley vineyards.
At 1800 feet, the Hershey Vineyard is one of our 4 family owned Estate vineyards. Chris utilizes this fruit to make up about 60% of VASO Cellars Cabernet. At the top of Howell Mountain, this property is the most topographically complex with diverse soils and cooler temperature. Balanced by the textural softness of fruit from the Helms Vineyard and powerful tannins from the Lotus & Crystal Springs Vineyard, Chris orchestrates a blend that defines Napa Valley in a bottle.
Chris, and our distinguished winemaking team, brought a vision for minimal intervention winemaking and responsible farming to all the wines in our portfolio. Chris’ style is dedicated to allowing each element of the wine to show as it is. His expertise is highlighting and polishing the best attributes of the fruit. This philosophy is what lends the finesse and harmonious blend that is VASO wine.
Philippe Melka has served as our consulting winemaker at Dana Estates since day one. He has a particular fondness for VASO Cellars, lending his years of expertise in crafting premium Napa Valley wines to our greater vision.
Prior to joining the VASO and Dana Estates team, Chris was crafting wine as the senior winemaker at Napa’s Provenance Vineyards and Hewitt Vineyards. Wine Spectator ranked his production of 2010 Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon as #4 in the Top 100 list; a marker of many incredible wines to come.