Atlas Peak Soil & Terrain
The Terrain of Atlas Peak is Suited for Cabernet Sauvignon
Many of these vineyards are grown on rugged mountain slopes. The soil is heavily volcanic and relatively young geologically. Most of the vines are planted on west facing slopes and get a lot of sunlight until late in the afternoon.
The elevation of Atlas Peak ranges from about 1,200 to 2,600 feet above sea level. The remote, steep slopes are difficult and expensive to develop. The soils are mainly volcanic, very shallow, and unfertile.
Rainfall averages about 40 inches a year, but little is retained by the volcanic soils. Because of the ground’s lack of water retention, irrigation is often necessary. Milliken Creek is the main watershed in the region.
Atlas Peak is best known for Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. William Hill Winery makes my favorite Cab from the AVA. Although this producer is not technically located in Atlas Peak, they source grapes from the region for this wine. Their Aura Cabernet Sauvignon is made in limited quantities from grapes grown in the viticultural area’s unfertile soils.
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