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Rutherford Hill Vineyards
Napa Valley view winery near the Silverado Trail
Napa Valley & Sonoma Wine Tasting Tours
The 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.
Capable 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.
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