Rutherford Hill Winery

3.58/4

200 Rutherford Hill Road , Rutherford, CA 94573

About This Winery

Nestled high in the eastern hills of the Napa Valley, Rutherford Hill Winery commands a spectacular view of Napa Valley's Rutherford Bench and surrounding areas. The dramatic wood-and-glass winery structure, built in the mid-1970s, is an architectural marvel. Its combination
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Nestled high in the eastern hills of the Napa Valley, Rutherford Hill Winery commands a spectacular view of Napa Valley’s Rutherford Bench and surrounding areas. The dramatic wood-and-glass winery structure, built in the mid-1970s, is an architectural marvel. Its combination of natural materials and hillside location creates a splendid place to visit, picnic, tour and taste.

Regularly scheduled tours take you to the tunnels, galleries and passageways of their nearly mile-long wine caves. The caves provide a unique, natural environment that enhances the wine-aging process. The underground grottos hold over 8,000 barrels of select French and American oak barrels filled with premium Napa Valley wine. The caves naturally maintain a year-round temperature of 59 degrees and a constant humidity of 90 percent. This uniform temperature and humidity level reduces wine evaporation and excess oxygen exposure, producing gracefully aged wines of notable character and consistency.

In 1996 the partnership that owned Rutherford Hill decided to sell the winery to the Terlato family, who has been in wine marketing and distribution for many years, working with some of the most noted names in the industry. Today the winery continues to produce their outstanding flagship wine, Merlot. They also produce Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, a Rose of Merlot, Sangiovese, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc and a Zinfandel port.

The tasting room sits at the near end of the winery building, adjacent to the wine caves. There is an assortment of high-end, brightly colored glassware, spices, jewelry, cigars and wine accessories available for sale. The scenic, rustic picnic area sits on the edge of the hillside among mature oak trees and is reminiscent of a national park campground (without the tents or trailers).

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Winery Information

Hours: Open daily 10 to 5 pm
Tasting Fees: $10 tasting fee includes souvenir glass
Tours: Scheduled Tours
Price Range: $15 to $50 per bottle
Established: 1972
Vineyards: 90 acres

Amenities

  • Tours - Regularly Scheduled

Ambiances

  • Casual & Relaxed
  • Hip & Stylish
  • Kid Friendly
  • Off the Beaten Path
  • Resort Like

Wine Types

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Pinot Noir

Winery Map

Wineries


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Reviews

3.67/4
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3.67/4

We read some very positive reviews of Rutherford Hill, so we made a point of visiting the winery. They have a wide selection of nice wines. I think we tasted 9 wines! (I think I was driving). The '09 Petit Verdot was a light garnet color with a black raspberry aroma and a cherry/blackberry flavor with slight tannins (quite pleasant); the Carneros Peak blend (65% Cab) had a warm plumy aroma and a full fruity flavor with mild tannins and celery overtones. I liked the '10 Dante's Peak blend (71%Cabernet Franc). It had a light color and strawberry aroma with a fruity strawberry flavor and mild tannins; the '10 Malbec had a very dark garnet color and dark cherry flavor. Our hostess was great. The wines were quite good and they are one of the 4 or 5 wineries that can ship to MA, so we joined the wine club.

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This place had some amazing views with some crazy wine caves. They pride themselves on their Merlot which was good but I enjoyed some of their other varietals as well.

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We visited on a Thursday afternoon and the winery was not crowded and quite pleasant. We did not take the tour and opted for the regular tasting. Our pourer had to keep referring to a another to gain information about the wines. I settled on a 2003 Napa Merlot. The winery itself is lovely and the wines are very well made. The views from the picnic area are tremendous and you would not be disappointed if you picnic here. I would stop here again.

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