Like most people who visit Napa Valley for the first time, the owners of Astrale e Terra were amazed the land could be so beautiful, so untouched by commercialism, and could exist only an hour from San Francisco. In 1997, a group of friends purchased a winery and vineyard in the Atlas Peak Appellation with the goal of producing superior wines to share with other wine lovers – wine that lives up to Napa Valley’s standard of excellence.
The vineyard is located in the Atlas Peak appellation, which gives it an interesting terrior. With an elevation of 2,683 feet, Atlas Peak is the most prominent feature of the region’s viticultural area. The soil of Atlas Peak is predominantly volcanic in origin, and its climate is very distinctive, perhaps even unique in northern California. Although it is only 40 miles from the Pacific Ocean and is subject to afternoon and evening cooling (characteristic of maritime influence), the area is free from the fogs that are drawn up into the rest of the Napa Valley. Since the area is characterized by shallow volcanic soils and large areas of volcanic rock, it experiences radiant cooling. This means that late afternoon temperatures can drop as much as 30 degrees in two hours, with daily minimum temperatures that are usually lower than those in nearby Stags Leap, Yountville or Napa.
When all of these elements come together in an optimum year, the result is dramatic…a great wine!
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