The Wines

Ardente Estate Winery is a family-owned estate organized in the manner of a traditional European chateau. The winery and the vineyard are located on the estate in the quiet hills of Atlas Peak, at an altitude of 1500 feet just eight miles from the city of Napa. The rocky, volcanic terrain and arid climate denigrate the vines, forcing them to work harder and produce more concentrated fruit. The harvest commence most years in late October, giving the grapes a long hang-time, resulting in well ripened and mature fruit.

The Estate

Ardente Winery was founded in 1996 on a twenty acre estate located in the quiet hills of Atlas Peak, just eight miles northeast of the city of Napa. The area was selected for its rich volcanic soil, ideal 1500 ft elevation and moderate micro climate which provide nearly perfect conditions for growing high quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The warm arid climate and rocky terrain denigrate the vines forcing them to work harder and produce more concentration of fruit, with dense tannins which intensifies the flavors of the mature grapes.

The mountainous terrain presents some challenges, and with late harvest the weather conditions can change by the minute. But for those with a passion for exceptional wine and to overcome the challenges of this unique appellation the rewards are extraordinary. After consulting with different growers and enologists in the Napa Valley, the objective was to make a French style Cabernet Sauvignon, inspired by the wines from the Medoc.

The renowned winemaker Phillipe Melka joined Ardente Winery in 1996, and his creative touch, knowledge of terroir and vintner’s passion set the standards for Ardente Cabernet Sauvignon. The first vintage of the 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon was released in 2000. Each fall, we harvest 10 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Our wine making facility has the capacity for full production of 2500 cases per year.

Brokers and people in the trade are always invited to come visit our vineyard. Please contact us to set up an appointment.  

Atlas Peak

Atlas Peak was approved as an American Viticultural Area in 1992.

The appellation is named after the highest point in the region - Atlas Peak - at 2,663 feet above sea level. The peak juts out of the Vaca Range, the mountains that form the Napa Valley's eastern side.

Known as a mountain appellation, the region ranges in elevation from 760 to 2,663 feet. Atlas Peak Appellation is located primarily within the Soda Canyon and Foss Valley areas, northeast of the town of Napa, east of Yountville and above the foothills of the Stags Leap District.

Total acreage of the appellation is 11,400. Total vineyard acreage is 1,500 - which represents less than a third of a percent of all the acreage planted in the Napa Valley.