Wine Making Philosophy

The rich volcanic soil, ideal 1500 ft elevation and micro climate on Atlas Peak provide us with a nearly perfect environment for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The rocky terrain forces the vines to work hard and produce small quantities of very concentrated fruit. The long growing season allows the grapes to mature and develop complex flavors and tannins.

Winemaker Derek Irwin spends much of his time in the vineyards, from bud-break to harvest. His hands-on approach secures that small quantities of only the best grapes are left to ripen on the vines.

The average harvest commence at the end of October. The grapes are hand harvested, and whole berry fermented in small stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged in small French barrels for up to 2 years before final bottle aging of another 2 years.  

Derek’s philosophy is to make wines that reflect the terroir, are well balanced with subtle tannins and longevity.  The wines are aged to enjoy upon release, with a variety of food.

Derek Irwin graduated from UC Davis, and has spent many years working as enologist and winemaker for wineries in Napa, Sonoma, South America and Europe. He lives in Napa with his wife and four children.  


Atlas Peak Range

Atlas Peak

Welcome to the Atlas Peak Appellation -- home to Napa Valley's most highly elevated, rugged and visually startling landscape.

Not for the faint of heart, this immensely challenging and unadulterated region of Northern California wine country has been producing fine wines since 1870.

General climate of the Atlas Peak Appellation is characterized by cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers with temperatures four to 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.