The history of Atlas Peak is as rough and tumble as its terrain...
a brief history
Atlas Peak is located in Napa County on the western slopes of the Vaca Range, which separates the Napa and Sacramento valleys. At an elevation of 2663 feet, it is the most prominent peak in the region.
Vineyards were first planted on Atlas Peak in 1870, and the area experienced steady growth in vineyard acreage between 1880 and 1901. At that time, varietal plantings included Chasselas, Malvoisie, Burgundy, Zinfandel, Muscat, Flaming Tokay, Mission, and Riesling. The first winery was established in the early 1980s, adding a new dimension to the region’s grape-growing tradition.
Today, Atlas Peak growers supply fruit to dozens of wineries in Napa and Sonoma counties, helping to create some of the finest wines in the world. In addition, local vintners and winemakers produce, bottle, and market their own brands. And since the region was established as an AVA in the early 1990s, producers now feature the Atlas Peak designation on their labels to help consumers recognize the regional characteristics and distinct style of Atlas Peak appellation wines.
1992 – Year Atlas Peak was approved as an American Viticultural Area (AVA)
2,663 – feet the highest point of the region is above sea level
11,400 – total acres of appellation
1,500 – total acres of appellation planted with win grapes
38 – average annual rainfall
Climate: cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers with temperatures 10 degrees cooler than the Napa Valley floor. A cool, mountain-influenced area usually above the fog line, the region gets full sunlight throughout the day, with nighttime drops in temperature.
Soils: rocky and volcanic in origin, basaltic red in color and tending to be shallow and well drained. Steep slopes, thin soils, and large areas of rock outcrop are the norm.
Signature Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Other Varietals Grown: Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Malbec, Marsanne, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Zinfandel.