Another of Napa Valley’s historic “Silverado Trail”
appellations, Rutherford has a history that dates back to the
earliest land grant in the Napa. Mexican General Mariano Vallejo
granted the 11,000-acre Rancho Caymus lands to George C. Yount
in 1836. The grant stretched north from present day Yountville
up the Napa River valley to the present northern edge of the Rutherford
appellation. In 1846, one of Yount’s granddaughters married
Thomas Rutherford and Yount gave the newlyweds the very generous
gift of about 1,000 acres at the northern edge of Rancho Caymus.
Following Yount’s lead, Rutherford planted grapes and began
investing in winemaking in Napa. By the 1880s, the Rutherford
area was well established as one of Napa Valley’s premium
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Like other districts along the Napa River valley
and hemmed in by mountains to the east and west, Rutherford enjoys
a variety of clay based river silts, volcanic soils, and well
draining rocky alluvial debris. Sandwiched between the Oakville
appellation to the south and St Helena to the north, Rutherford
is well positioned to enjoy some cooling effects from the river
but exemplifies the warm, dry upper Napa Valley microclimate.
The Rutherford district is therefore perfect for the late ripening
Bordeaux varietals that are the region’s signature wine
grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. As with
elsewhere in the Napa Valley, exquisite full bodied Chardonnays
also thrive in the dynamic terroir of Rutherford.
Rutherford is one of Napa’s most popular appellations,
book your wine tasting tours early!
Rutherford Wineries: 27
Rutherford Growers: 63
Rutherford Vineyard acres: 3,747
Rutherford wineries that offer winery tours and
wine tasting are: Peju, Beaulieu, Esquisse, Raymond, Mumm Cuvee
Napa, and ZD Wines.
Raymond Vineyard & Cellar,
Mumm Napa Valley,