Everyone is Welcome at Rutherford Hill Winery
As if their luscious Bordeaux varietals were not enough of a draw, the visitor center view makes it official: Rutherford Hill Winery is one of Napa’s best- kept secrets. High atop the road for which it is named, the family-owned winery over- looks the heart of the Napa Valley and offers a breathtaking panorama. “We definitely have some of the overall best views in the Valley,” said Marisa Taylor, Rutherford Hill’s winemaker for the past 15 years.
Featuring a scenic picnic area, mile- long caves, and a variety of visitor experiences, Rutherford Hill offers its guests options. Drop-in for a classic tasting, or book a cave tour. Reserve one of the Oak Grove picnic tables and bring your snacks to enjoy with a glass or bottle of one of Rutherford Hill’s fifteen labels. “If you want a high-level barrel tasting, we can do that,” said Taylor. “If you want to bring family and friends for a casual picnic, we can do that too. There is something for everyone at Rutherford Hill.”
One of the valley’s pioneering wineries, Rutherford Hill, was founded in 1972 just as the rest of the world was taking notice of the Napa Valley. The winery’s focus at the time was Merlot; it was one of the first to highlight what has become a premier varietal. Merlot continues to be the main focus under the leadership of the Terlato Family, who purchased the winery in 1996, but they’ve expanded the portfolio to include lauded Cabernet, red blends, Chardonnay, Petite Sirah, and Pinot Noir. Believing in quality over quality, the Terlatos (led by TWG Chairman Anthony with sons Bill and John) have significantly invested in facility and vineyard enhancements, efforts which are evident in their wines.
“Not only have we invested in our own Pope Valley and Mee Lane vineyards, but we also work with some great growers throughout the valley who provide us with the absolute best fruit,” said Taylor. “We believe the most important thing we do is make great wine. Ours are known for their great complexity and character. Tasting is believing.”
A few of Rutherford Hill’s varietals are available in retail outlets, but the majority of the portfolio can be enjoyed only at the winery, a fact well-known by enthusiastic club members who take full advantage of their membership privileges to enjoy special vintages and varietals. And like several Rutherford Hill employees who have worked for the winery for decades, many club members have been part of the winery club for years. “We are a family operation, and we treat our members as family too,” said Taylor.
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