Top 8 Rutherford Wineries to Visit

  • Itineraries
  • by WINECOUNTRY COLLECTIVE
  • on APRIL 10, 2024
  • 20522
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Itineraries

Top 8 Rutherford Wineries to Visit

By WineCountry Collective April 10, 2024

Tucked away between Oakville and St. Helena in Napa Valley, California, the Rutherford AVA is a little slice of paradise for those who love a good glass of red. This spot is a haven for Cabernet enthusiasts in particular, offering up the kind of full-bodied, luxurious Cabs that put Napa on the map. And for those who like to mix things up, there’s a delightful array of Bordeaux blends (and even sparkling wine!) to keep your taste buds entertained.

When it comes to wine, it’s all about location, location, location. Rutherford’s got a special something in its soil—a magical mix of gravel and sandy loam—that, along with a unique microclimate, gives grapes a longer time to hang and develop flavor. All this leads to wines that boast tannins softened into a smooth, dusty elegance, creating the renowned “Rutherford Dust”—a signature trait that’s become one of the most captivating qualities of Rutherford.

For an unforgettable journey through Napa Valley’s Rutherford region, we’ve put together a short list of some of the best tasting rooms to visit.

Sullivan Estate Grounds
Photo Courtesy of Sullivan Estate

Known for world-class Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignons, Sullivan Rutherford mixes traditional-style wines with the mastery of today’s finest winemaking techniques. With private tastings available seven days a week by appointment, you’ll revel in this elegant yet comfortable atmosphere of the tasting room, which overlooks the winery’s stunning estate vineyards and gardens. Bring on the serenity.

Insider Tip: Treat yourself to the Founder’s Tasting—a private tour followed by a seated tasting with tasty bites. A wine educator will walk you through their Estate Collection and the J.O. Sullivan Founder’s Reserve Collection for a truly memorable experience.

1090 Galleron Road, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-9646

Beaulieu Vineyards located in Rutherford, CA
Photo Courtesy of Beaulieu Vineyard (BV)

Since being established in 1900 by Georges des Latour, Beaulieu Vineyard (or “BV”) has been at the forefront of Napa’s winemaking scene. His dream was to produce wines that could rival those from his homeland of France. For decades, the winery was helmed by the iconic winemaker André Tchelistcheff, known affectionately as the “Maestro.” His creation, the Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, set the standard as Napa’s first cult Cabernet and continues to be revered as one of the region’s premier wines

Insider Tip: Dive into the Discover Rutherford Dust Tasting to see what Tchelistcheff meant when he said, “You need Rutherford dust to grow good Cabernet.”

1960 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA 94573, (707) 257-5749

Cakebread Cellars | Dani Drezner
Photo courtesy of Cakebread Cellars | Dani Drezner

Family-owned Cakebread Cellars is dedicated to producing wonderful wines with sustainability in mind. With humble beginnings on a small 22-acre plot of land in Rutherford, Cakebread has since grown to 1,600 acres with 16 different vineyards. Settle in to their stunning tasting room to sample their signature Chardonnay or bold Cabernet Sauvignons. Be sure to check out The Perfect Pair: Wine & Food Tasting for a culinary adventure that celebrates the winery’s dedication to epicurean delights. You’ll stroll through the vegetable garden before indulging in wine paired with four delicious bites.

Insider Tip: Curious about the winery’s sustainability efforts? See Cakebread Cellars’ dedication to eco-friendly winemaking firsthand on the Sustainable Wines & Vines Tour. You’ll walk through the vineyards and production facility to learn about their groundbreaking water and energy conservation practices, all while sampling four different wines.

8300 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA 94573, (800) 588-0298

Nickel & Nickel
A private tasting area in the barn. Photo Courtesy of Nickel & Nickel

Nickel & Nickel prides itself as the “home of single-varietal wines,” producing 100% varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Syrah. To get to know what this winery is all about, book the Exploring Napa Valley Appellations: Terroir Tasting. You’ll get the chance to “explore” different parts of Napa Valley through several single-vineyard Cabernets, discovering the unique qualities each terroir has to offer.

Insider Tip: History enthusiasts will love that Nickel & Nickel is housed in a restored historic farmstead. While some tastings take place in the renovated Queen Anne-style farmstead home, most are now located within the recently renovated 3,000-square-foot Gleason Barn, a 1770 barn from New Hampshire that was reclaimed piece by piece.

8164 St. Helena Highway, Oakville, CA 94562, (707) 967-9600

Inglenook Winery
Photo Courtesy of Inglenook Winery

Since its inception in 1881, Inglenook has been a pioneer in Napa, introducing the region’s first Merlot vines and one of the first gravity flow wineries. Since filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola took the reins in 1975, the winery has continued to make a name for itself, especially with its Rubicon estate Bordeaux-style red wine.

Insider Tip: To learn more about the legacy and wines of Inglenook opt for the Private Library Tour and Tasting, a sommelier-led library tasting in the historic Inglenook Chateau.

1991 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA 94573, (707) 968-1179

PEJU
Photo Courtesy of PEJU / Katie Gallogly

Led by the innovative Tony Peju, this family-owned winery shines with its classic Bordeaux varietals, including its Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Book a Classic Seated Tasting to experience five of Peju Winery’s most popular Napa Valley wines. You can also request a cheese plate and, on the weekends, a Chef’s Sampler to accompany your tasting. Pay a visit here and you may see the matriarch of the family, Herta Peju, digging in the dirt to ensure the roses and dahlias are at their finest.

Insider Tip: Visit the charming, 50-foot tower on property that graces all estate-bottled Peju labels. It also happens to be one of the tallest buildings in Napa Valley.

8466 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA 94573, (707) 963-3600

Round Pond Estate.
Sit on the terrace while you enjoy a culinary journey through Wine Country. Photo Courtesy of Round Pond Estate

Round Pond Winery is a family-owned gem known for its small-lot Cabernet Sauvignon and estate-grown olive oils. The winery’s commitment to artisanal winemaking shines through in every glass, which you can sip from the serene ambiance of the covered patio. Did we mention the panoramic vineyard views? Yeah, they’re photo-worthy.

Insider Tip: Book the Estate Tasting for an intimate exploration of Round Pond’s premium wines, complemented by a selection of house-made accompaniments. This guided tasting is a perfect way to immerse yourself in the rich flavors and stories of this beloved winery.

875 Rutherford Road, Rutherford, CA 94573, (707) 302-2575

Wine tasting at Mumm Napa
Photo Courtesy of Mumm Napa

For those who fancy a bit of sparkle, or who simply need a palate cleanser between all that red, Mumm Napa is a must-visit in Rutherford. Located on the west side of the Rutherford AVA, along the Silverado Trail, Mumm Napa is famous for its méthode traditionnelle sparkling wines, adding a dash of French flair to California’s Wine Country.

Insider Tip: Don’t miss the Oak Terrace Tasting, where you can savor a flight of exclusive sparkling wines paired with artisanal bites while taking in the breathtaking views of the vineyards. It epitomizes the quintessential Napa Valley experience.

8445 Silverado Trail, Rutherford, CA 94558, (707) 967-7700

Conclusion

As you can see, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to Rutherford wineries! Sip on the iconic Cabernet Sauvignons that Rutherford has become known for or get to know the AVA’s other noteworthy varieties at these wonderful wineries. Simply put: you really can’t go wrong when you combine Rutherford terroir and grapevines.