This appellation was one of the first in the United States to be approved distinguished by its distinctive soil. Our four vineyards here take advantage of the coarsely eroded loam and clay soils and the bare rocks that heat the district during the day yet cool quickly at night when breezes from the rugged Pacific Coastline enter the valley.
Prized Cabernet Sauvignon wines have been synonymous with the Rutherford Appellation since the mid 1800s, and the varietal now represents more than half of the planted acreage in Rutherford. The district is characterized by well-drained alluvial-fan soils: gravel sand and loam. The wines grown here are so distinctive that the phrase “Rutherford Dust” was coined in an effort to define the elusive qualities of the renowned terroir.
The Oakville Appellation crosses the valley from the eastern Vaca Range to the Mayacamas Mountains on the west. Gravelly soils and the mid-valley location—where morning fog rolls north from the San Pablo Bay followed by bright, warm sunny afternoons—translate into optimal growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon.
Located in the southernmost edge of the Napa Valley, vineyards in the Carneros appellation benefit from the marine influence of nearby San Pablo Bay. Overcast mornings and cool afternoon breezes contribute to a slow, even development of the grapes, resulting in an optimal balance of sugar and acid. The shallow and rocky soil over a base of clay provides just enough nutrients to support vine growth and fruit maturity.
Rising nearly 2,000 feet above sea level on Napa Valley’s northeastern edge, Howell Mountain Appellation experiences more dramatic temperatures than the valley floor—with warmer summer temperatures and colder winters leading to a late bud break and a late harvest. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown at this altitude typically develop thicker skins resulting in robust tannins.