Nestled between Yountville and St. Helena, the tiny enclave of Rutherford began with a wedding gift from grandfather to granddaughter. The name “Rutherford” was given to the community in 1864 when George Yount, Napa Valley pioneer, gave a portion of the Rancho Caymus land grant to his granddaughter Elizabeth when she married her husband Thomas Rutherford. When considering real estate in Rutherford or looking for Rutherford homes for sale, you will automatically feel the influence of the community’s gracious wine country history.
Luxury Rutherford real estate in the heart of Napa Valley
Rutherford is considered the historic heart of Napa Valley, and Elizabeth Yount and Thomas Rutherford received their gift of land during the Civil War era. Those were early California days, and although you can see traces of the history throughout the valley, many of Rutherford’s landmarks date from after that time. Rutherford is home to the Atkinson House, an 1882 charmer on the grounds of St. Supéry Vineyards and Winery, and Inglenook Winery, founded in 1879, which is now owned by famed filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola.
The unassuming, modest Rutherford Station stands at the intersection of St. Helena Highway and Rutherford Road. The Station has been considered historically endangered for a number of years, but we look forward to it receiving some TLC through a plan under consideration by Napa County and the Wine Train.
A special land and environment
You’ll also hear the term “Rutherford Dust,” which refers to the unique land in Rutherford and the flavor it imparts to its classic wines, along with the microclimate of the Rutherford AVA. Rutherford is in the widest portion of Napa Valley, which provides it with the highest degree of sun exposure throughout the growing season.
One of Napa Valley’s finest winemakers and a true wine mentor, André Tchelistcheff, is credited with creating the concept of “Rutherford Dust,” a term based on the land and natural environment. This “dust,” which is derived from volcanic and alluvial soil deposits, has the appearance and texture of fine cocoa. If you like warm days, cool nights and as much sun as possible, the climate is a natural benefit of owning real estate in Rutherford.
Not surprisingly, the name of the association of Rutherford’s 87 wine growers is the Rutherford Dust Society (RDS). RDS is the first association in Napa Valley to have 100 percent of its members participate in the Green Land Program and who are Napa Green Certified. Because of its climate and soil, Rutherford’s AVA specializes in Bordeaux-type wines, and most of the AVA’s acreage is devoted to cabernet sauvignon. With the 1936 Georges de Latour Private Reserve (released in 1941), the Rutherford appellation was the first in Napa Valley to receive international acclaim for its wines. The cabernet tradition soon blossomed and has grown to produce the world’s most-awarded and treasured wines.
Rutherford Vineyards and Wineries
Perhaps the best-known winery in Rutherford, with an unbroken tradition stretching back over 110 years, Beaulieu Vineyard is the home of de Latour’s groundbreaking 1936 wine. Beaulieu Vineyard is in the center of the community. Francis Coppola’s Inglenook Estate is west of St. Helena Highway, and it includes a museum dedicated to the winery and early film history in addition to fine wines and food experiences. It’s nearly impossible to go wrong visiting any of the vineyards and wineries in Rutherford, and the community is also home to one of wine country’s finest resorts, Auberge du Soleil. Auberge du Soleil, part of the Auberge Resorts collection, also includes Solage and Calistoga Ranch, a landmark for Napa Valley visitors. The resort includes a distinctive spa and Michelin-starred restaurant overseen by highly decorated chef Robert Curry. Another local establishment, The Rutherford Grill, offers comfort food in a highly rated, comfortable setting.
Rutherford real estate features some of the most-storied history in wine and land in Napa Valley. If you’re interested in estate or elite homes for sale in Rutherford, speak with Latife about your needs. She will be able to guide you to the ultimate choice in wineries, estates and homes for sale in Rutherford, the heart of wine country.