Rutherford Ranch Winery
“It Takes Rutherford Dust To Grow Great Cabernet.”
Located right in the heart of the Napa Valley, Rutherford Ranch Winery is a wonderful place to visit. It’s a place where you may relax, sip some delicious wines, stroll through and picnic within a 100-year-old olive grove, enjoy charcuterie, cheese and chocolate pairings and shake up a little Rutherford dust (The above quote is from world-famous winemaker, André Tchelistcheff to describe a particular flavor aspect of the phenomenal Cabernet Sauvignons that come from that neighborhood).
Once Round Hill Winery, Now Rutherford Ranch Winery
Rutherford Ranch Winery sits on the site of the original Round Hill Winery, which was founded in 1978 by Ernie Van Asperen, Virginia Van Asperen and Charlie Abela. When the Van Asperens retired in 2000, Marko and Theo Zaninovich, long-time shareholders with the Van Asperen family, acquired the winery. They replanted the estate vineyards with superior vines and made major renovations to the winery and tasting room. Although very beautiful and rather modern, the remodel retained the site’s original charm.
Relax and Stay a While…
The grounds surrounding the tasting room and winery are absolutely gorgeous! Minimal, water-efficient native landscaping is shaded by ancient oak trees, a creek borders one side of the patio/picnic area and modern picnic tables and chairs are spread about, shaded by the oak trees and festive red market umbrellas. You will want to buy a glass or bottle of wine, opt for the cheese or charcuterie board (or even a boxed lunch from Bouchon!) to enjoy with your wine, kick off your shoes, relax and stay a while. It’s just that kind of place.
Come In and Check Out The Art!
The tasting room experience is just as nice inside as outside! Along the back side of the tasting room, a wall of café windows lets in the beautiful Napa Valley sunshine, a large, colorful display of wine bottles graces another wall and a long tasting bar spans one side of the room. For those who prefer to sit while tasting, comfortable chairs and couches are thoughtfully placed around the room. A tasteful selection of wine-related gifts is displayed throughout the tasting room. There is a beautiful private tasting salon located just off the tasting room, set up especially for larger group tasting experiences. The whole tasting room doubles as an art gallery, with amazing art displayed throughout.
Family-Owned and Sustainably Farmed
Rutherford Ranch Winery has been owned and operated by the same family for three generations. After all this time, they are still very active in all aspects of their winery’s business. They are particularly proud of how they farm their 300 acres with certified organic, sustainable farming methods. In fact, Rutherford Ranch Winery was named “Sustainable Winery of the Year” in 2017.
The wines of Rutherford Ranch Winery are absolutely delicious. They reflect their famous zip code and the meticulous farming and winemaking that go into crafting them. Rutherford Ranch Winery specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Sauvignon blends, but they also make some amazing Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Zinfandel as well.
I tasted several wines during my visit, but the 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon was my absolute favorite! It is a classic Cabernet Sauvignon, absolutely brimming with aromas and flavors of black cherry, cassis, mocha and pipe tobacco, all wrapped up in a decadently rich, velvety mouthfeel.
Rutherford Ranch Winery is located at 1680 Silverado Trail South in St. Helena. Visitors are welcome daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and reservations for groups, tours and wine and food pairing experiences are available by appointment.