For over 630 years, through 26 generations, the Antinori family has crafted exceptional estate wines in Tuscany and Umbria. Produced by one of the oldest and most respected wine families in the world, passion, personality, and history shine through in every glass of Antinori wine. And since expanding into California with its Antica Napa Valley (its first vintage was in 2004), the family has proven that it can produce wines that can evoke true expressions of terroir beyond Italy. This season, when choosing wines to pour for your annual holiday bash, you can’t do better than Antica Napa Valley Mountain Select Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Antica (a portmanteau of Antinori California) sits in the rugged, remote eastern mountains of Napa Valley in the Atlas Peak District. The 1,210-acre estate sprawls an elevated plateau in an amphitheater formed by mountaintops that stretch toward Atlas Peak, at a towering 2,700 feet.
At such a high elevation, the Atlas Peak District sees less of the insulating Pacific Ocean fog throughout the growing season than the rest of Napa. This area has dry, sunny summers with temperatures an average of 10 degrees cooler than the lower valley districts, giving the grapes a bounty of pure varietal character.
A patchwork quilt of 550 acres of vineyards, the Antica estate is planted with 34 distinct blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon and 14 blocks of Chardonnay. Each block is chosen for optimal soil composition and elevation.
The Cabernet Sauvignon is planted at about 1,800-feet elevation, where the temperature stays cooler while basking in the bright California sun. The rocky, volcanic soil limits yields, producing wonderfully concentrated fruit with softly shaped tannins.
As for the Chardonnay, its blocks blanket the Foss Valley at a slightly lower altitude, but still about 1,400 feet above the valley floor. These vineyards are normally above the fog line as well, which means the grapes bask in full sunlight all day. They’re planted in loamy, well-drained soil, a result of weathered volcanic material originating above. In the evenings, temperatures drop, bringing out the Chardonnay’s acidity to complement the richness of the fruit.
The Antinoris put to use only about 18 to 20 percent of the fruit they grow for their Mountain Select Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, selecting the blocks that best showcase the signature characteristics of the grapes for the final blends. The rest of the grapes are sold to other local producers.
By growing its own grapes, the Antinori family has total control over the wine’s quality — from vine to bottle. This estate-grown philosophy is practiced from Umbria to Tuscany and Napa Valley, producing wines with a special personality and style, one that will add to any holiday gathering or table.
For a fresh, crisp pairing for your family’s signature cheeseboard, the centerpiece turkey, and all of the rich holiday sides, try Antica Napa Valley 2018 Mountain Select Chardonnay. The 2018 vintage was textbook-perfect with a long, mild growing season that allowed the fruit to enjoy a leisurely ripening period under ideal conditions, yielding rich varietal purity and preserving the bright natural acidity. Let this wine transport you to the Valley, with a little of that late-autumn sunshine in every glass.
If you’re looking for a lush red wine to enjoy alongside a showstopper prime rib, pour the Antica Napa Valley 2017 Mountain Select Cabernet Sauvignon. Unseasonably warm temperatures in the early autumn of 2017 made for an accelerated harvest, with the grapes ripening to that ideal balance of concentrated red and purple fruit with firm, sweet tannins that give the wine a beautiful structure, well suited to both drinking on its own, as well as with any festive dinner.
However you celebrate the season, let Antica wines be a part of it. They’re made with a long history of passionate production and careful selection, which puts your family and friends in very good hands. Give your tastebuds a trip to Napa Valley for the holidays. They deserve it.
This article is sponsored by Antica Napa Valley.