About Us

“Racing was instilled in us from the start. We had to be good at it, we had to win. There was a lot of pressure to win and do your best. Now we’ve applied that attitude and work ethic to V12 Vineyards where we have worked hard to make the very best Napa Valley wines.”

-Jimmy Vasser

V12 Vineyards was born out of a tradition of focus, determination, teamwork, excellence and winning. Jim Vasser, Sr., an incomparable vehicle enthusiast and automotive business professional, long-ago instilled in his family the love of cars and motorsports. His young children were involved in racing, an exciting lifestyle, and for the Vassers, automobiles became a family affair. When Jimmy Vasser, Jr. became a professional race car driver, it was a natural choice that eventually led to an Indy-Car Championship Title.

In the ’90s the family purchased an automotive dealership in the Napa Valley. Living and working in the region provided the wine country experience which appealed to Jimmy. Although he still travels on the racing circuit and spends more than 200 days annually on the road, he can regularly be found spending “down time” in Napa.

In 2001, Jimmy purchased from Rob Mondavi the former chicken ranch which he has meticulously transformed into the V12 Vineyards Estate. It took several years to get through the local planning process before the first vines were planted in 2006 and the first harvest was two years later with the 2008 vintage.

V12 isn’t just a number, it represents several things:

  • V represents the Vasser Family
  • 12 was Jimmy’s winning race number
  • V12 is the ultimate racing engine which provides power, smooth operation and a uniquely distinctive sound
  • 12 represents the 4 vineyard blocks, with 4 clones planted on 4 different rootstocks on the V12 Estate

Our Team

V12 Vineyards owner Jimmy Vasser

Jimmy Vasser

Jimmy is the visionary, creator and driving force behind V12 Vineyards. The wines are a reflection of Jimmy’s approach to his pursuits professionally and in life. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Jimmy has been immersed in the world of automobiles his entire life. It is as a race car driver that Jimmy made his greatest impact. Starting at an early age, under the guidance of his father, Jim Vasser, Sr., he achieved success at every level of American motorsports ultimately reaching the pinnacle when wearing his signature race number of 12, he became the CART/PPG Indy-Car Champion in 1996. With multiple business interests, including ownership of an award-winning retail automotive dealership in the city of Napa, Jimmy brings the focus, quality, determination and excellence learned throughout his racing career to the grapegrowing and winemaking process at V12 Vineyards.

Chad Alexander, Winemaker for V12 Vineyards

Chad Alexander (Winemaker)

Chad Alexander grew up on the steep slopes of Mt. Veeder located in Napa Valley and took his first cellar position at Hess Collection Winery in 1985. After 8 years of learning under the winemaker and vineyard manager, he decided to study Geology and received his college degree, fusing together soils, terroir, and growing conditions in order to achieve the best wines possible. In 1997, Chad worked for a few high-end hillside Cabernet producers and was made head winemaker in 2003, receiving 95+ point form top wine critics year after year. Alexander Wine Consulting was established in 2006 and Chad Alexander continues to produce wines of high quality, mostly sourced from Hillside Vineyard Estates. V12 Vineyard Estate grows exceptional fruit and Chad is excited about its future.

Vicki Vasser in the tasting room

Vicki Vasser

Like her brother Jimmy Vasser, Vicki was also raised with teamwork, passion and a “finish first” mentality. As a nine-year old she raced a Quarter-Midget season under the guidance of her father Jim Vasser, Sr. Today she naturally has a lead role as part of the team at V12 Vineyards.Vicki is the face of the place. Along with Jimmy, Vicki has been involved in the evolution of the estate and continues as the Managing Director, handling marketing, trade and VIP events and estate visits.

Cooper (Vineyard Dog)

And Chief of Security!