Hall Winery Rutherford is located towards the end of a private road off the main road that leads to the well known Auberge du Soleil Resort. Only a select number of Napa wineries have more than one physical winery location and Hall is one of these. This location is for their high end reserve and estate single vineyard wines; these are wines that are produced in very limited quantities, some of which you can only find by visiting the winery. A visit here is for serious wine enthusiasts. The wine is of very high quality and the estate and views are out of this world. This winery is run by Kathryn and Craig Hall - Kathryn is a former USA Ambassador to Austria and her husband Craig runs a successful investment business in Texas. Both collect works of art from relatively unknown artists and you will see some of these in front of the winery as you drive in including two beautiful Monarch butterflies perched on top of a tall pole. Kathryn has a number of butterfly works of art and was asked, "why butterflies?". The answer was simply "who doesn't like butterflies" ...perfect! Allow 60 to 90 minutes for a visit here. The tour starts in the main upstairs part of the winery - outdoor terraces and a large window give you excellent views of the valley floor and the Mayacamas mountains to the west. The tank room contains all custom made tanks.
Attention to detail is paramount here. Harvest often takes significant time as they do not harvest the entire vineyard at once, rather they separate the picking down to individual vines and blocks which are then fermented apart from one another. From the tank room you proceed into the 14,000 square foot elegant caves; these are definitely one of the tour highlights. The cavern roof is lined with handmade Austrian brick, each of which contains a family crest. Alcoves throughout the cave contain modern works of art which are displayed on a rotating basis. Your tour ends in the tasting room. This is no ordinary room - an amazing Chandelier which contains hundreds of Swarovski crystals hangs from the ceiling and its shape is supposed to represent grape roots as you would see them in soil. A massive mahogany table with inlaid white onyx is in the center of this room (this onyx changes color with a turn of a knob controlling the sunken lights). A tasting typically includes 4 wines including their one white, a Sauvignon Blanc.
Two amazing wines are the following. The 2004 Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon is an elegant European styled Bordeaux blend with seductive aromas including cigar, blackberry and cedar and some hints of currant as the wine opens up with lots of fruit on the mid palate. This is a well balanced wine with a complexity of flavors including plum and nuances of roasted coffee. As a side note this wine pairs wonderfully with blue cheese. A spectacular wine is their 2005 Diamond Mountain 100% Cabernet Sauvignon which incidentally is their first release and is only available at the winery. This is a big yet totally restrained wine with incredible depths of flavor and a mouth feel that you can only have with such a well balanced wine. The nose is full of exotic spices, the palate is full of chocolate and cherry which lead to smooth refined tannins on the finish. For the elegant ambience combined with art and world class wine, a visit to Hall Rutherford is hard to beat. Also of note: their St. Helena winery is in the midst of a huge construction project which includes the building of the only Northern California Frank Gehry designed building (architect for the amazing Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao Spain & the Disney Hall, Los Angeles). This new "wicker basket" looking winery will be a magnet for visitors to the valley as it will be a one of a kind building. Visit: www.hallwines.com
Wine with Tony
Open to Public: No
Regular Tours: No