Virage founder Emily Richer discovered wine in culinary school at the CIA Greystone in Napa Valley. Wine added another layer of flavor and inspiration for cooking and sharing meals with friends and family. A farmer at heart, Emily is inspired by wines anchored in a place--and produces wine to share her discovery of those places.
Before Virage, Emily worked thirteen years in the Napa Valley, first as a cook, then as assistant to author and wine educator Karen MacNeil (The Wine Bible), followed by many years consulting with Napa Valley vintners and wineries. Clients included Quintessa, Icon Estates, Langtry Estate, Rudd, Beaucanon and others. Intrigued with the Bordeaux tradition and art of blending, Emily saw opportunity in our varietal-driven marketplace. When investor partners offered the chance, she launched Virage with a focused mission of interpreting the cooler side of Napa Valley with a Right-Bank Bordeaux style blend, grown in hillsides of Northeastern Carneros and other cooler-climate sites.
Virage, a French word meaning 'a turn in the road,' or a change in perspective, released its inaugural 2007 vintage to critical acclaim, and started spreading the word one bottle at a time. Our operation is simple; handcraft every bottle, and hand pack every shipment. The goal is a sustainable business with accessible pricing, a story to tell, and a place at the table.
In 2010 we produced the first dry rosé, a wine that makes first courses and light, fresh meals become celebrations in themselves. Virage dry rosé bears no resemblance to the sweet, focus-group driven pink stuff that is sold by the millions of gallons to unsuspecting Americans who haven't tried the real thing. Did you know the French drink more rosé wine than white wine?
Grown in northeast Napa Carneros hillsides, our grapes enjoy an extended growing season in the marine-influenced climate and soils, resulting in optimal ripeness that delivers a wonderful depth of flavor and a savory minerality, and maintains vibrant natural acidity in the finished wines. We find this classic style to be an excellent dining companion. And many top sommeliers agree--please see our restaurant list.
Along with former wine educator and Napa Valley consultant Emily Richer, Virage is supported by master blender Jean Hoefliger (Alpha Omega) and depends heavily on thoughtful vine care by longtime local growers. We're especially grateful that our grapes are harvested by the same dedicated team that farms the vineyards throughout the year. Virage sells a small amount of wine outside of California via talented wine distributors noted on our restaurant list.