Rutherford Wine Co.

Rutherford Wine Company has been dedicated to family owned and farmed winemaking for three generations. On top of family ownership, they are also big on sustainable farming, producing and bottling their own wines. I had the pleasure of meeting the new Winemaker, Jay Turpinseed for lunch while he was visiting NYC, and tasting some of the wonderful wines from their portfolio.

“Our Rutherford Ranch Winery and estate vineyards are certified sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. We know that responsible farming is good for the land, good for the grapes and ultimately good for the wine.”- Rutherfordwineco.com. 

These wines showcase the rich diversity of California’s wine growing regions. Here they source their grapes from Napa Valley,  Russian River, Arroyo Seco, Lodi and the Central Coast, all wines are finished and bottled at the family’s Napa Valley winery.

We met for lunch at the Farmer and Fish and started off with a bright glass of 2016 Chardonnay from Scott Family Estate. This Arroyo Seco Chardonnay is bright and floral with vibrant honeysuckle, vanilla, and pineapple. It’s creamy with a long finish and paired beautifully with some Tuna Crudo and Lobster Rolls. There’s nothing like a big buttery lobster roll, and a California Chardonnay and the 2016 Scott Family Estate one was a great choice to pair with such an iconic summer dish.

Scott Family Estate wines are“terroir-inspired” wines, crafted to express the best of regions and vineyards ideally suited to cultivating cold-loving Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. Meticulous selection of sites with distinctive soil types and clonal varieties in Arroyo Seco (Monterey County), Russian River (Mendocino and Sonoma Counties) and Carneros (Napa Valley) result in fruit with uniquely nuanced flavors and varietal characteristics. This limited production, ultra-premium wines are produced using small-scale eco-friendly farming methods.

Jay brought wines from Scott Family Estate and Rutherford Ranch. After some whites, we moved onto the red wines. I tasted the Scott 2015 Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir which is 100% Pinot Noir aged 10 months in oak. The oak is present but well integrated, and overall this is a very pretty Pinot. This wine can pair with something as simple as parmesan cheese, all the way to a bigger and warmer winter dish. Since it’s summer, we stuck with our salads and lobster rolls, which also paired nicely with this wine.

Alongside the Scott Family Vineyards, we enjoyed some Rutherford Ranch 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and the 2015 Cabernet SauvignonRutherford Ranch Winery is located on Napa Valley’s historic Silverado Trail, in one of the area’s most renowned sub-appellations. The winery has a certification by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, which shows you the family’s three-generation commitment to sustainable, Earth-friendly winegrowing and winemaking practices.

“Influential wine writer Robert Parker described Rutherford Ranch wines as one of Napa’s outstanding values.”-Rutherfordwineco.com

I really enjoyed both the Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Sauvignon Blanc was crisp and mineral-driven with nice tropical fruit notes and a long finish. This easily paired well with the lobster rolls and even the asparagus (which is a tough wine pairing). The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, however, paired nicely with our red wine poached pear with pistachios and creamy sweetened goat cheese.

Honestly, I really enjoyed not only meeting Jay and discovering these wines, but I love how Rutherford Wine Company takes so much pride in their wine growing and winemaking. These wines are absolutely ones I can get on board with, and you should too!

Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love… please pair responsibly.

Sara Lehman

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

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