The Atlas Peak AVA is a Napa Valley Appellation known for a higher elevation which results in less cooling fog created by lower lying bodies of water such as the San Pablo Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
Atlas Peak is located in Napa Valley, California, on the western slopes of the Vaca Range that separates Napa Valley and the Sacramento Valley. Atlas Peak is the most prominent peak in the area at 2663 feet elevation.
Atlas Peak is the most southern link in Napa Valley’s Vaca chain and it is one of the more austere looking mountains in the region. Though it is closer to the San Pablo Bay and therefore slightly cooler, it receives some of the lowest rainfall in Napa Valley, which is evident in its parched landscape. Viticulture has a long history here but remains a minority presence. Despite large vineyards such as Antica and Stagecoach, Atlas Peak is primarily dedicated to cattle and other agricultural pursuits.
The westward orientation of most vineyards on the Vaca Mountains also extends the amount of direct sunlight on the grapes. The soil of this AVA is volcanic and very porous which allows it to cool down quickly despite the increased sunlight. The area has a fairly significant diurnal temperature variation upwards of 30 °F (17 °C) between daytime and night. This contributes to the balance of acidity that grapes from Atlas Peak vineyards are known to have.
Presumably due to the height and significance of Atlas Peak as a landmark in this corner of Napa Valley, it became the generally recognized name for the region in the late 1800's. While the origin of the name Atlas Peak for the mountain and region is unknown, the earliest print reference to the name Atlas Peak appeared in the July 10, 1875 issue of the Napa County Recorder. The region initially gained renown as a place with a "healthful climate" that "offered relief to sufferers of asthma and other respiratory ailments." In 1880 the California State Legislature considered the area as a potential location for a "State Hospital for Consumptives." Atlas Peak was considered due to its "equitability of temperature, freedom from fogs or from harsh winds, the dryness of the atmosphere and abundant supply of pure water".
The first vineyard of 1000 vines was planted by James Reed Harris in 1870 and by 1893 his vineyard had grown to 47 acres. In 1887, Romain C. Deboom made the first Atlas Peak wine. By 1895 there were at least 6 known vineyards in the area, most of which survived the Phylloxera epidemic during the 1890's. Unfortunately these early vineyards were abandoned following the enactment of Prohibition in 1920 and no new vineyards were planted in the area until 1940 when a new vineyard was planted on Mead Ranch in the southwest corner of the AVA. Since then various new vineyards have been planted, often taking advantage of favorable sites previously planted in the 1800's. Atlas Peak was officially recognized as an American Viticultural Area in 1992 and today, the appellation is known for many renowned wineries.
"Our climate, soils and topography are influenced by two deep canyons that carve their way up the eastern mountains of Napa Valley. Milliken Canyon to the southwest and Rector Canyon to the northwest ultimately rise to the elevated plateau known as Foss Valley where Chardonnay shines with the mountains continuing to rise to Atlas Peak Mountain where Cabernet Sauvignon excels."
- Glenn Salva, Antinori Napa Valley
100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the rocky slopes of Atlas Peak.
Elegant, yet structured. Notes of blueberries, lavender and chocolate greet the nose. Flavors of wild blackberries and praline compliment the velvety cocoa powder finish.
Intrigued by the intensely expressive Cabernet Sauvignon from their Atlas Peak Vineyard, the Rombauer family produced their first single-vineyard
designate from this site with the 2003 vintage. This 10-barrel blend showcases the unique character of wines from this remote, rugged site.
The 2021 Atlas Peak Chardonnay is of high quality and low yield vineyards with crisp citrus flavors.
The grapes for our Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon are grown in the Vaca Mountain range on the eastern side of Napa Valley. The Atlas Peak region is well known for its rocky, volcanic soils and dry growing conditions. Temperatures in Atlas Peak tend to be cooler than most of the regions in Napa Valley, and therefore it is one of the latest regions to ripen Cabernet. Cabernet from Atlas Peak tends to be powerful, tannic, able to age for a long time.