Away from the hum and bustle of the Napa Valley’s main thoroughfare, Highway 29, sits a bucolic winery called Rutherford Ranch Winery. Originally founded in the 1970’s by Ernie and Virginia Van Asperen Rutherford Ranch sits at the junction of the Silverado Trail and Rutherford Road. The Van Asperens along with Marko and Theo Zaninovich have been busy constantly improving Rutherford Ranch. Not only have they replanted the estate vineyards with the most modern and premium plantings, they have updated the winery’s production facilities and tasting room and Rutherford Ranch now boasts state of the art facilities. With a tip of the hat to its history, the estate sports a 100-year-old olive tree grove that is largely unchanged from its original charm.
In the winery, an experienced hand has moved up through the ranks to take the helm at Rutherford Ranch Winery. Tyson Wolf started as the enologist in 2003, named assistant winemaker in 2007, and since 2010 has been in charge of production. He will tell you in this position that he plays both scientist and artist, culminating cutting edge science with the artistic direction guiding him to establish the style of the wine. His team consists of Healdsburg local and UC Davis trained Steve Rued, whose winemaking philosophy reflects his love and lifelong appreciation for wine and wine making.
Tyson and Rutherford Ranch Winery are dedicated to the long-term health and well being of the vineyards as well as the surrounding area and ecosystems. Their approach to sustainability includes the entire ecological system encompassing the vineyards. Their efforts include working with other local and like-minded partners, installing solar panels, encouraging biodiversity of plants as well as animals, conservation of all natural resources, soil health, and minimizing the use of synthetic substances. The winery uses these age-old methods in combination with modern technology to reduce environmental impact and ensure that future generations can enjoy the same pristine conditions on the ranch they do today.
The result of this family history, experienced winemakers, and precision in the winery are wines that are charming, delightful, and accessible. The Rutherford Ranch Winery 2014 Sauvignon Blanc is cool fermented in stainless steel tanks to keep the refreshing acidity intact while concentrating the balanced and rich flavors. Clean and bright, aromas of grapefruit, lemongrass, and fig pop out of the glass to accent the crisp citrus profile inherent to the noble Sauvignon Blanc.
Their Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from vineyards that are blessed with the ideal soil and weather conditions to create delicious fruit with concentrated flavors, ideally balanced acidity and rich, aromatic qualities. Cool fermentation in stainless steel tanks preserve the variety’s natural crisp citrus characteristics.
The Rutherford AVA, in the Napa Valley, is renowned for its Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Rutherford Ranch Winery takes full advantage of its prime location right in the heart of it. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic and timeless example of Napa Valley Cabernet, ripe with dark fruits like blackberry and black cherry that have come to define Rutherford itself. The eponymous and intriguing ‘Rutherford Dust’ is a defining texture characteristic of the tannins in the wines of this area, and finds a rich chocolaty home in the 2013 Cabernet.
Rutherford Ranch Winery is in partnership with the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance to make sure the ideas of responsible farming endure. Check out what the folks at Wine Express had to say about the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, from Rutherford Ranch Winery here: