Rutherford Hill Winery

About

A best in class winemaking facility that produces beautiful wines. At Rutherford Hill Winery, we embrace time-honored techniques and today’s technologies to make our wine as good as it can be. Underground aging is an ancient practice, and the famous Rutherford Hill caves – among the first in Napa Valley to be built using modern excavation machinery – offer the perfect environment. At 59 degrees and 90 percent humidity, our wines evolve flawlessly and with minimal evaporation, reducing alcohol concentration. The winery itself is state of the art, with an expansion from the original design providing a spacious “winery within a winery” that allows the winemaking team to focus purely on quality. A 403-kilowatt solar power system delivers much of the facility’s electricity. Set amid oak woodlands and patchwork vineyards, and with unmatched valley views, Rutherford Hill is also a favorite destination for Wine Country visitors, who enjoy cave tours, a rose garden, and picnic areas surrounded by oak trees and olive groves. Visit our tasting room off of the Silverado Trail to sample our hand-crafted wines and enjoy one of the best views in the Napa Valley. Enjoy a tasting of our hand-crafted wines, a picnic in our oak grove or a tour of our nearly mile-long caves!

Location Description

Located in the heart of Rutherford, California.

Features

  • Luxury Wine from Napa Valley.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

Winemaker

Growing up amongst the vineyards of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, Marisa Taylor seemed destined to find a career in winemaking. At a young age, she recalls visits to the vineyards to watch her godfather, a vineyard manager, work in the vines. Like most people who grow up in Wine Country, wine was a typical fixture at her family’s dinner table. During those impressionable years, Marisa developed a deep appreciation for the process of taking grapes from vine to glass, generating the spark of what would become her professional calling.

Marisa enrolled in Santa Rosa Junior College and by the age of 25 was making her own wine, using Pinot Noir from Carneros. She graduated from the University of California in Davis, first with a B.S. in Chemistry and then an M.S. in Food Science-Enology. With her two degrees, Marisa had the solid foundation needed to excel at top quality, artisan winemaking. A self-described “lab rat,” Marisa continues to have a passion for the analytical detail needed for monitoring yeast cultures, barrels, fermentation, blending and ultimately, bottling.

History

Founded in 1972, Rutherford Hill Winery is a pioneer in the development of California Merlot. The grape growers who founded Rutherford Hill carefully studied the geography of the region and capitalized on climate and soil conditions that resembled those of Pomerol, the small but distinctive Merlot-growing region of Bordeaux. What a promising discovery that was ─ one that has borne plenty of fruit ─ specifically, the lush, purple-black grapes that have contributed so much to Rutherford Hill's success. Today, Merlot remains the flagship wine of the company with 75 percent of Rutherford Hill's production dedicated to this varietal, one of the leading Merlots of Napa Valley.

When the Terlato family of the Terlato Wine Group (TWG), Lake Bluff, Illinois, purchased the winery in 1996, they immediately began to apply their guiding principle: Quality is a way of life. The pursuit of excellence began with a comprehensive review of all aspects of the facility that resulted in significant enhancements.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

The fruit in Rutherford Hill's vineyards enjoys a natural balance of cool mornings and evenings tempered by warm sunny days. With a commitment to sustainable farming practices, the Rutherford Hill winery farms a 60 acre, estate-owned vineyard, Mee Lane, in the Rutherford appellation and has another 130 acres under a controlling lease. In addition, the winery sources premium fruit from a network of meticulously selected Napa Valley grape growers.

In the estate-owned Mee Lane Vineyard, the majority of grapes grown are Cabernet Sauvignon, each planted on a rootstock and clone matched to the clay loam soil on its vineyard block. Cabernet grapes were first planted here over a century ago, and the small town of Rutherford, located near the center of the valley, emerged as one of Napa's first prime Cabernet growing districts.

Awards

010 Atlas Peak Merlot
90 Points
This is not a typical Atlas Peak red. It’s too soft, too approachable in youth for this appellation of long-lived wines. But it is immensely enjoyable for its mellow texture and lusciously ripe cherry, cola and oak flavors.

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
90 Points

This is the winery’s best Cabernet Sauvignon in years. It has classic black currant flavor, enhanced by smoky oak, and feels distinguished in the mouth. It’s young, but should begin to mellow and show its stuff by 2017.

2009 Merlot Reserve
91 Points
Medium dark ruby color; baked black fruit, French oak, vanilla nose; baked black fruit, ripe berry palate with integrating oak; medium-plus finish. (80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec; 18 mos. in French oak.

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Hours

Mon - Sun: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Address

200 Rutherford Hill Road
Rutherford, California 94573
United States

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