Round Pond Estate
At Round Pond, nothing gives us greater joy than sharing our passion for winemaking, hand crafting artisan foods, and gardening with others. As a result, we have designed a host of wonderful and unique experiences - at the winery, olive mill and in the garden - that we hope you might enjoy. We invite you to explore all that we have to offer and look forward to connecting with you on your next visit to Round Pond Estate! In addition to being the perfect home for our small-lot winemaking, our winery is also a place where we can share our excellent wines in a beautiful and comfortable setting. With a lovely second story tasting lounge and a covered terrace offering panoramic views of the vineyards and the Mayacamas Mountains, our winery makes an ideal destination in the heart of the Napa Valley. We invite you to explore our delicious tour and tasting options!
The Round Pond Estate is situated in the heart of Rutherford, California, an appellation that has been famous for its world-class red wines for more than a century.
- Producing award winning wines.
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Average Bottle Price
Jaime “JJ” Dowell received her degree in Viticulture and Enology from University of California, Davis. Subsequently, JJ gained practical experience working as an intern for Artesa, Cardinale, Atalong, and Lokoya. She then held winemaking positions at Bonny Doon Vineyard, and spent three years harvesting high-end Pinot Noir at Villa Maria Estate in New Zealand.
Having completed her winemaking time overseas, JJ returned to the Napa Valley and went to work for Jean Hoeflinger as the Associate Winemaker of Alpha Omega. Under Jean’s tutelage, JJ honed her skills in single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons, while also working in conjunction with Michel Rolland as their consultant for his Napa Valley series. JJ’s five years as Assistant Winemaker to Jean prepared JJ to take the winemaking helm at Round Pond Estate, which she did in July of 2017.
Working the land, especially a great piece of land, is not about bending it to your will. Through a passionate process of experimentation and refinement, for more than a quarter century, our family has strived to help this magnificent property evolve and achieve its full potential. As our home, and the center of our family life, over the years we have grown to know Round Pond intimately – we have discovered its complexities, learned its secrets, and coaxed fruits of rare quality from its rich soils.
Brother-sister team Miles MacDonnell and Ryan MacDonnell serve as CEO and COO, respectively, of Round Pond Estate—a winery, vineyard and olive mill located on Rutherford land their family has owned since 1983. After years of providing grapes for some of the region’s finest wine producers, the MacDonnell family began making their own wine under the Round Pond label with the inaugural 2002 vintage. Miles and Ryan assumed control of the business in 2003, and today Round Pond Estate produces highly acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc from the family’s 356 acre vineyard. They also craft specialty gourmet foods, including fine red wine vinegars, citrus syrups and olive oil.
“We originally began making wine to become better growers,” Miles says. “We’ve always been passionate about wine, and we wanted to understand fully the intimate connection between what happens in each vineyard micro-block and what happens in the cellar. After our first vintage, we became excited about the winemaking side of things and what we could accomplish with fruit from our family estate.”
Practices & Techniques
From our commitment to vine balance to our gentle winemaking approach, the wines of Round Pond Estate benefit from loving attention that includes small lot fermentation and patient aging. In the vineyard we harvest at peak ripeness, handsorting and destemming the fruit before applying a gentle press and cold soak. In order to extract rich colors, aromas and flavors, we emphasize extended maceration of the grapes. Alongside these artisan techniques we also employ cutting-edge technology, like our custom-built fermentors, which continuously regulate temperature to within a fraction of a degree ensuring control and quality. Adding additional layers of depth and nuance, our barrel-aging program utilizes the very finest French oak coopers.
Estate Vineyards / AVA
Round Pond’s soils are extremely fertile due to deposits from alluvial outflows of the Conn Creek and Napa River that took place thousands of year ago. As a result, vine health is exceptional, and the vines grow vigorously in this unique appellation. To maintain vine balance and reduce yields – both key factors for quality – we limit each vine to two clusters per shoot, making certain that no two clusters even touch one another. In addition, we carefully work the canopy to establish a good ratio of sunlight to shade. To further control vine vigor we utilize advanced technology to monitor hydration levels in the soil. When we are within days of harvesting, our skilled vineyard workers (some of whom have almost 30 years of experience at Round Pond) hand inspect each vine to discard bad berries, or even entire clusters. As a result, when the fruit is finally picked it represents a meticulous selection of only the finest grapes.
- HUFFINGTON POST names Round Pond one of the Best Olive Oil Pit Stop in Napa!
- Named as Napa's Most Beautiful Tasting Rooms by Food & Wine!
- Named as part of "A Perfect Napa Weekend" by Architectual Digest!
- Destinations Travel Magazine features the Round Pond Olive Mill Tasting!