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Rutherford Hill Vineyards

Napa Valley view winery near the Silverado Trail

San Francisco Wine Tours

Napa Valley & Sonoma Wine Tasting Tours


Rutherford Hill wine tasting roomThe soil and climate of Rutherford Hill resembles the famous Pomerol Merlot region in Bordeaux, which led the winery’s founders to focus on Merlot grapes at a time when they were largely ignored. Today about 75% of Rutherford Hill’s 90,000-case production is Merlot.
Rutherford Hill was also one of Napa’s first wineries to build caves in the modern era. Built deep into cliffs, they are considered by experts to be among the country’s finest and most extensive wine-aging caves; they hold nearly a mile of tunnels, galleries, and multiple passageways.
Rutherford Hill wine cave entranceCapable of storing more than 8,000 oak barrels, the caves maintain a consistent 59ºF temperature.
In 1996, the Terlato Family, which owns Paterno Wines International, purchased Rutherford Hill, and made many improvements.
You’ll appreciate their efforts in the attractive and recently-renovated tasting room, where a rectangular bar serves tasters who belly-up on each side.
A long, winding road takes you to the winery, which is perched high atop Napa Valley with stunning views extending across vineyards out to the Mayacamas Mountains.

Napa Valley view from Rutherford Hill VineyardsFascinating Fact:

Chateau Petrus Merlot is one of the world’s most expensive wines. A bottle of new vintage costs around $1,300!
Amenities: Tours (no appointment needed); Gift shop; Picnic tables; Wine Clubs; Reservations needed for hosted meals (Cave dining and Napa Valley View Picnics); Merlot blending seminars
Founded: 1972
Signature Wines: Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rosé, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese
Wine Tasting: Basic, no appointment needed
Hours: Daily, 10-5
Rutherford Hill Winery
200 Rutherford Hill Road
Rutherford, CA 94573

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Suzie Rodriguez writes about travel, food, and wine from her home in the wine-country town of Sonoma, California. You can follow her travels and musings at The Culinary Gadabout.

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Website and all photos copyright © 2001–2015 Lee W. Nelson