THE MICHAEL MONDAVI FAMILY’S EXPRESSION OF THE SPIRIT OF ATLAS PEAK
In 1999, seeking a flagship vineyard befitting his new family estate, Michael Mondavi zeroed-in on a particularly rugged, Manzanita-dotted parcel high on Atlas Peak in southeastern Napa Valley. As Michael surveyed the site with his family, his daughter Dina remarked, “This place has animo.”
Animo is the Italian word for “heart” or “spirit.” Some vineyards have it, and an experienced winegrower recognizes the dormant energy of the site before it has even been planted, with its potential evident in the soil, contours and sun exposures. Picking of Animo extends late into October and requires multiple harvest passes to achieve optimum quality. The spirited character and class of Animo Cabernet Sauvignon reflect this mountain terroir and attention to detail.
The Animo Vineyard is situated in the Foss Valley subzone in the southeastern quadrant of Napa Valley. The 15-acre parcel is planted nearly entirely to Cabernet Sauvignon and is comprised of a relatively uniform rocky, volcanic soil infused with streaks of iron. The vine rows climb Atlas Peak from an elevation of 1,200 to 1,350 feet overlooking the southern end of Napa Valley.
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