To get it all into context, as I continue to learn and put it into perspective…

Napa County, Napa Valley, City of Napa, and Atlas Peak… (in descending order of acreage)

There’s a lot of history there, that’s very important. The reason is the setting up of five mountainous AVAs. So, anyone in this AVA need to cash in on established cache. (Vaca Mountains to the east – dropping down into the eastern side of the valley floor, spill is volcanic – so there is a lot of iron oxide, red soils. Versus the Mayacamas Mountains – to the west – with soils that are sandy loam, some clay, formed by tectonic plates coming together, and pushing up the Pacific Ocean’s debris in the activity.

That soil is very different from the western side of Napa (east side Zins have NO pepper spice, for instance).

  1. In the town of Napa, Atlas Peak is a region of Napa Valley AVA – also its OWN appellation.
  2. There is so little about Atlas Peak for researchers on the Internet – Needs some publicity.
  3. The minuscule-ness of Atlas Peak puts anyone there into a very rare category, very honorable farming.

Today, Bob Biale and I are going to talk about the soils of Atlas Peak’s valley floor.

History from wine writer Virginie Boone of Wine Enthusiast Magazine

“Those pioneers—Jacob Schram, the Beringers, Charles Lemme and the Christian Brothers—gave way by the 1950s to a new generation. Such innovators as the McCreas, Al and Boots Brounstein, Dr. Jan Krupp, Piero Antinori, the Smith brothers, Bob Travers, Sir Peter Newton and others believed there should be distinct appellations for five of the Napa Valley’s highest mountains: Howell, Diamond, Spring, Mount Veeder and Atlas Peak.”

Points of interest on the forefathers, and those five mountainous regions play key roles in these sub-AVA of Napa Valley:

  • Atlas Peak
  • Diamond
  • Howell
  • Mount Veeder
  • Spring

Over time, forefathers decided that Napa has many micro climates. At one point in the 80s, five distinct mountainous regions were defined as the best that the valley (with mountains) had to offer. Each one then filed for AVA status, with the TTB. And, you are a member of this community.