Legacy Collection I — Napa Valley

Graeme Brandham
WIVA by WiV Technology
5 min readDec 7, 2021


A view across the vineyards in late autumn.

A deep dive into Napa Valley

As we launch our new legacy collection this week, we will be taking the opportunity to look a bit deeper into what makes some of our investment wines particularly exciting, and of course, valuable. Starting with our first legacy collection drop that is all about Californian wine! Are you as excited as we are?

A map of the region, with the San Pablo Bay at the bottom.

So what makes Californian wine so great?

California is a region that has become synonymous in the wine world with excellence, particularly for one appellation that has become a household name in the last 60 years. Napa Valley.

The cooling mists as they come in from the ocean over the golden gate bridge.

The valley is situated just off the coast of California above the San Pablo Bay near San Francisco. Its particular geographical location is extremely important in defining what has made Napa Valley wines so well regarded in the fine wine world. San Francisco is well known for its thick fogs and mists that roll in from the sea, enshrouding the Golden Gate Bridge in a thick cloud. As the fogs push in, they are funnelled up past Oakland, Richmond and Berkeley and into the San Pablo bay where the mouth of Napa valley opens to the sea. This regular occurrence of fogs and mists being channelled up the valley are a big factor in what allows the winegrowers to craft such excellent wines. Grapes need to ripen more slowly if they are to develop complex flavours and structure, and so these mists and fogs slow down the ripening process by cooling down the vines and slightly reducing their sun exposure in the early morning.

Looking out over the San Pablo Bay.

This is in stark contrast to other regions that do not have this cooling influence from the sea as prominently. The grapes in these other regions, such as the central valleys will ripen incredibly quickly. And with this fast pace, they will not develop the levels of nuance and complexity that make a fine wine stand out from the crowd. Think of the grape as a human learning a new skill. If it’s rushed, the person will be less skilful. And vice versa.

The impact of these fogs, mists and sea breezes also have a very unique impact on the layout of Napa valley and help define and decide what grapes are grown where. At the opening of the valley, in areas such as Los Carneros, Pinot noir is one of the main red grapes grown. Pinot noir, in order to fulfil its potential needs that cooling influence of the ocean. It’s primarily a cold-weather grape and will ripen into a sickly jammy flavour if it is grown under too hot conditions. This is part of what makes Burgundian Pinot noir so great. The cooler climate and the unpredictable weather means the grapes ripen slowly and develop true complexity.

Further up the valley in places like Rutherford, the cooling influence of these sea breezes and mists is much reduced. Quite literally because of the relative distance it is from the ocean. This makes it a great sub-region for growing another one of California’s most famous grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon. This grape is a much more warm-climate grape in terms of its ability to ripen. But will still benefit from the slight cooling it receives at night from the ocean breezes, slowing its ripening down. It is these exact same mechanics that make a Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon so exceptional. The warmth and reflected heat from the gravelly soils ripens the Cabernet sufficiently, but the cooling influence of the sea cools them down just enough to allow them to ripen slowly.

Two of the primary red grapes in Napa.

I’m sure you are starting to notice a pattern here. The ripeness of the grape, vs the time it spends ripening, is by far one of the most important considerations when analysing sites for fine wine growth. That is not to say that there aren’t many other factors at play, but this balancing act of ripeness as a factor of time is one to really watch out for. And Napa Valley In California has these elements in abundance. There are few places in the world more perfectly suited to grape growth and creating complex wines than this small valley in California, and it is one of the reasons why it is a focus of our California legacy collection NFT drop.

If you take a look through the wines we have available, you will note that many of them are from this area for the reasons mentioned above.

  • Screaming Eagle
  • Joseph Phelps
  • Continuum
  • Moueix Dominus
  • Beringer
  • Robert Mondavi
The wines featuring in our legacy collection drop.

So how does this information affect our ability to invest wisely?

In understanding the nuances that allow winemakers to create world-beating wines, we can of course analyse the data, the numbers and the charts in terms of the wines ability to make, retain, and appreciate in value. But having a deep level of knowledge in what creates fine wines from the winemaking perspective as well means that you, as the investor, can rest assured that we have left no stone unturned in finding you the best investment vehicles available.

We hope that with each new weekly drop you will enjoy these short accompanying articles. With each new region explored, we will bring to your attention another factor that makes these wines excellent, and that will contribute to their potential to swell your respective crypto wallets. Who knows, by the end of the collection, maybe you too will be fully equipped to find wines that you can store, enjoy and invest in as well.

Knowledge is power, and in the world of investing, it is the thing that will give you the edge over the competition.

So happy investing Wiverians, it is our sincerest hope that you will enjoy our new collection, and all the accompanying tools we will be building around it in the coming months and years, including the Digital Wine Cellar, the metaverse marketplace and Sandbox game, and of course the WIVX de-fi ecosystem that will undoubtedly supercharge your wine investment returns.

Cheers 🍷🥂