It’s natural to plan several wine tasting stops while touring the Napa Valley. A boutique winery tour here and an overview of a larger producer there provide a nice sampling of the area’s bounty. But we’ve found one winery in the heart of the Valley that beckons visitors to linger, relax, and forego the temptation of additional stops along Hwy 29 or the Silverado Trail. With extensive visitor programs that provide a range of inviting “live like a local” experiences, Round Pond Estate’s variety of hospitality options and gourmet specialty food items (such as fruit and herb-infused olive oils, vinegars, and pure fruit syrups) ensures that everyone in your group finds something to love at this Rutherford-located family-owned winery and farm.
If their many tasting experiences aren’t reason enough for you to plan a Round Pond visit, then perhaps you’ll take comfort in knowing that your every swirl and sip of Round Pond wines promotes environmental preservation. As part of the Napa Green Certified Land program, Round Pond and its owners implement measures to retain soils and prevent erosion, identify and reduce harmful inputs and runoff, conserve water resources, and restore wildlife habitats to protect biodiversity. (If you’re lucky, you may be able to spot the owls and bluebirds who live amongst the vines, helping to organically control pests.) Who knew that winetasting was actually good for the environment? And if you’re still not convinced and need one more reason to visit, the Insta-worthy, Beverly Hills-like palm tree-lined drive towards the winery and tasting room provide further incentive.
Owned and operated today by the second generation of the gracious MacDonnell family, Round Pond specializes in the creation of pure, expressive wines, artisan foods, and unforgettable experiences. In addition to a state-of-the-art winemaking facility and 366 acres of vineyards, the estate includes 5 acres of biodynamic gardens, 12 acres of olive orchards, and one of only two olive mills in the region. The high quality Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, artisan olive oils, red wine vinegars, and flavorful citrus syrups of Round Pond Estate reflect the MacDonnell family’s dedication to sustainable farming and production. They have made their farm-to-table philosophy a way of life, and together with their estate chef and master gardener, the family enjoys nothing more than sharing the bounty of their farm with guests. Here’s how to make the most of your Round Pond visit:
Estate Winery experiences:
Zinc Bar Tasting | Daily by reservation| 10:00am – 4:00pm $40pp
Don’t have much time? Enjoy the rustic elegance of Round Pond’s Zinc Bar while taking in the view from the signature large round window and savoring a selection of their lush wines.
Estate Tasting | Daily by reservation| 10:00am – 4:30pm |$65pp
Savor a selection of delicious Round Pond wines paired with garden-inspired bites, served on the second story wine terrace with views of the Rutherford vineyards.
Il Pranzo Lunch | Monday – Saturday by reservation | 11:30am |$125pp
The perfect combination of fresh air and fresh foods, this sumptuous meal includes an intimate and informative estate garden tour and guided tasting of Round Pond artisan olive oils, wine vinegars, and estate wines. (The menu on a recent visit included grilled brassicas with crispy prosciutto and watermelon radish, grilled flank steak with smashed potatoes and black garlic vinaigrette, local artisan cheeses, and Meyer lemon olive oil cake – all perfectly paired with Round Pond varietals)
Garden to Table Brunch | Sunday by reservation| 10:00am |$175pp
This incredible Sunday brunch begins with a tour of the estate garden led by Round Pond’s winery chef. After taking in the sights, scents, and tastes of the garden, head upstairs for a sampling of gourmet olive oils alongside a comprehensive tasting of Estate wines paired with a family-style brunch.
Estate Olive Mill experiences:
Tour & Tasting | Daily by reservation | 10:00am |$70pp
Stroll through the olive grove on a guided tour and learn about olive cultivation, harvest, and artisan methods of pressing olives into liquid-gold at Round Pond’s Estate Mill. Then savor fresh olive oils and wine vinegars with a tasting paired with seasonally-inspired small bites.
Mill Tasting | Daily by reservation | 12:30pm & 2:30pm |$50pp
Taste through the estate’s fresh olive oils and wine vinegar blends and learn the essentials of how they craft their premium gourmet items. Enjoy a selection of seasonally-inspired bites using just-picked produce from the garden.
Splash & Dash Tasting | Daily, no appointment necessary| 10:00am – 4:30pm | $25pp
Don’t have much time? The Splash and Dash tasting allows you to choose which handcrafted estate olive oils you want to taste.
Round Pond Estate, 875 Rutherford Road, Rutherford, California
Article By: Fran Miller