The Vine
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The Vine

Why Rutherford Bench?


With so many choices of vineyards in the Napa Valley, I’ve been asked many times, “why did you choose Rutherford Bench?” To me, the answer is very simple. You can only make amazing wine with great fruit and, in my opinion, the best fruit of the 2013 vintage came from the Bench. This vineyard benefits from the varied weather conditions that are perfect for Cabernet grapes: the morning mist, the evening sun, the light breezes.

The legend of this area, that runs from Oakville to Rutherford on Route 29 and is tucked under the Mayacamas Mountains, has been referred to as the “Rodeo Drive” of vineyards! Famous neighbors include Scarecrow, Inglenook, Beaulieu, Rubicon Estates and Phelps’s Manley Lane, to name a few.

It is perfect for Cabernet growing, due to the “Myth of the “Rutherford Dust.”It can be distinguished in the taste of the wine, which has the “dusty” tannins and mocha flavors that are unique to Benchland. It sits on a terrace formed by an old stream, and this provides excellent drainage from its gravelly bed. The soil in this stretch is truly special, and prompted legendary enologist and winemaker Andre Tchlistcheff to say “It takes Rutherford dust to grow great Cabernet”… and he should know, he made a few!

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