The name Antica originates from the words Antinori and California, and represents the Antinori family’s longstanding desire to craft exceptional estate wines that are a true expression of Napa Valley terroir.
The Antinori’s family’s 26 generations of winemaking history has been long been synonymous with the famed winegrowing regions of Tuscany and Umbria. Today, their wines are among the most recognized and highly rated of Italy.
But the Marchese Piero Antinori and his daughters, Albiera, Allegra and Alessia, are also known for seeking out the undiscovered potential of specific wine regions while staying true to the tradition, culture and taste of Antinori wines.
Marchese Piero Antinori first visited and fell in love with Napa Valley in 1966, after which he dreamt of producing an Antinori Napa Valley wine. In the mid-1980s, the opportunity presented itself: a 1,200-acre estate on a high plain, in the eastern mountains of Napa Valley. Antinori knew that the property’s Atlas Peak location—with its rocky soil and high elevation above the fog line—had great potential for growing quality wine grapes, so the family purchased shares in a venture to develop vineyards there with England’s Whitbread and France’s Champagne Bollinger.
A Long-Term Vision and Plan
Over the years, as vineyards were planted and caves dug, some of the partners changed, but Marchese Antinori remained steadfast in his desire to develop this site. In 1993, the family purchased the estate outright.
But used to thinking in terms of decades when making strategic business decisions, Antinori leased the property back to one partner for 15 years. “All three of my daughters have the two ingredients most necessary to produce fine wine: brains and passion,” explains Antinori, “but this gave Albiera, Alessia and Allegra time to hone their business experience, and allowed us to lay the groundwork for properly launching our new wine estate in Napa Valley.”
In 1994, they built the winery; in 1998, the family purchased the adjoining Townsend property, which included 24 acres of prime Cabernet vineyard; and two years later, they planted Chardonnay on the original estate, which would allow the family to begin production before the lease was up.
Upon the completion of the lease, the estate was named Antica Napa Valley—Antica being a combination of Antinori and California, as well as the word for “ancient” in Italian. The first releases were a 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2006 Chardonnay, both released in 2007.
The Vineyard Is Our Stage
There are 600 acres of vineyards planted in an amphitheatre-like setting, surrounded by steep slopes on all sides and at the headwaters of two watersheds that flow through deep canyons to the Napa Valley below.
The original estate is planted to primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, but also the classic Bordeaux blending varietals and Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sangiovese and Sauvignon Blanc, each planted to take advantage of the range of microclimates and soils found on the estate. The adjoining Townsend Vineyard, is set high on the ridge overlooking Rector Canyon and Napa Valley, on a west-facing slope of well-drained, volcanic soils. The fruit from this site is featured in its own vineyard-designated bottling named in honor of the neighbor from whom we purchased the property.
Blending Old World and New World
Like the winery name, the winery production is also an Old World/New World blend, with Antinori Chief Enologist Renzo Cotarella and the Antica winemaking team working together to craft the finest expression from each vintage and vineyard block, from vine to bottle.
Three wines—the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Townsend Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon—are available in select markets across the US and abroad. The other are designated as Soprattutto wines, which are limited-production estate wines available only from the winery. These include Sangiovese, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and a Fossino, a rosé of Pinot Noir.
“Our goal is to first and foremost make quality wines with a strong local identity,” Albiera Antinori says of her family’s wine business. “Rather than a ‘house style,’ we prefer to the let each site speak for the wine. So while Antica remains true to our tradition and culture, its wines are indelibly imprinted with the terroir of Napa Valley.”
Dig deeper into the Antica Napa Valley story
Request A Tour And Tasting Visit
We invite you to enjoy a private tour and tasting at our estate in the breathtaking eastern mountains of Napa Valley. We accept appointments for groups of up to 8 people at 10 a.m. or at 3 p.m. Monday – Friday, and on Saturdays during the summer. After the tour of the estate and winery, sit down for a tasting of Antica Napa Valley's current releases in our beautiful guest room, which offers expansive views of the estate. Experience lasts approximately 90 minutes.