Antica Terra (“old earth” in Latin) was started by a pair of New Yorkers in 1989 who made small amounts of Pinot Noir for several years. This all changed in 2005, when Scott Adelson, John Mavredakis and Michael Kramer, three friends on a search for land, visited Antica Terra. Over the years, they had collaborated on countless projects but had always dreamed of starting a vineyard together. This was not the first time they had visited a piece of land with this dream in mind, but something was different this time. It’s hard to say if it was the subtle breeze from the ocean, the majestic stands of oak, or the fossilized oysters hiding among the boulders, but they knew immediately that this was the property they had been looking for. When Scott, John and Michael asked her to become the winemaker at Antica Terra, she emphatically refused. But the three friends were clever. They asked Maggie if she would simply take a look at the vineyard and offer her opinion about the qualities of the site. She reluctantly agreed. Twenty-six seconds after arriving among the oaks, fossils, and stunted vines, she found herself hunched beneath one of the trees, phone in hand, explaining to her husband that they would be moving to Oregon. The vineyard and label was purchased in June of 2005 by three friends and partners along with talented winemaker Maggie Harrison, a long-time former assistant winemaker to Manfred Krankl at Sine Qua Non in Ventura, CA. Antica Terra is an 11-acre vineyard located on a rocky hillside in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. The first vines were planted here in 1989 in a clearing within the oak savannah. The geology of the site is extremely unusual. In most of the region, vineyards are planted in the relatively deep, geologically young soils left behind by either the Missoula floods or the volcanic events that formed the Cascade Range. In this place, the remains of a far older pre-historic seabed rise to the surface, leaving the vines to struggle, without topsoil, amongst a fractured mixture of sandstone sown with fossilized oyster shells. They demand that we offer our vines the most exacting attention and care. In return, they offer us a glimpse into what we can’t see: a wine that is unique and instantly identifiable.
Moderately dark reddish-purple color. Demure aromas of dark red cherries and berries and espresso. Middleweight core of black cherry fruit buried in charred, smoky oak. The tannins are soft and the juicy finish is pleasing with good mineral-laden acidity and length.