If you’ve been holding out until the last minute, time is now fleeting, but there’s still today and tomorrow to sign up, BUT… no later than Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

The Rutherford Appellation

The Rutherford viticultural area is located in the historic heart of the Napa Valley. It’s known world-wide for its signature “Rutherford dust,” a term used to reflect its terroir, its deep connection to the soil in the vineyards, the wine, and the wineries of Rutherford. In collaboration with its grower and vintner members, the Rutherford Dust Society (RDS) focuses on helping wine consumers, trade, and media to discover Rutherford’s celebrated  terroir. They do this, while promoting the highest quality standards for grape growing and winemaking in the region. The RDS also supports other Rutherford non-profit organizations, like the Rutherford Hall, the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Department, and the Rutherford 4-H.

The Rutherford Dust Society is a non-profit, member association for growers and vintners in the Rutherford Appellation. Tickets and passes are now on sale for the 2018 Rutherford Wine Experience, on May 4 and 5.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, the Rutherford Wine Experience offers an intimate and exclusive wine weekend with the growers, winemakers, and proprietors behind Rutherford’s most iconic wines.

If you love Napa Valley, and you adore their Cabernet, most especially, this is not an event to miss. I’ve had the pleasure of attending for years, and I know this is a very special learning and tasting experience.

The 2018 Rutherford Wine Experience (RWE) is comprised of three unique events over a two-day period. The event weekend will launch with an intimate VIP Welcome Reception at Rancho Caymus Inn on Friday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., where 60 guests will taste an exclusive selection of rare Rutherford Appellation Cabernet Sauvignon with Rutherford vintners, growers, and winemakers.

Exclusive in-depth wine education seminars will be offered Saturday morning at various Rutherford vineyard and winery locations. Space is extremely limited for all seminars and topics. Locations are summarized below:

  • A sustainability-focused Eco Tour at Honig Vineyard and Winery
    • Followed by a tasting of single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • An exciting exploration of the three distinct zones of the Rutherford Appellation—the Rutherford Bench, the Valley Floor, and the Eastern Benchland
    • With Beaulieu Vineyard’s winemaker John Hazak.
  • A guided tour through the vineyards in the Wagdola (wagon + gondola) along the Rutherford stretch of the Napa River, where guests will learn about the 13-year river restoration program completed by RDS.
    • This seminar includes wine tasting from the vineyards explored along the tour, led by second-generation vineyard consultant Lauren Pesch and river restoration expert Gretchen Hayes.
  • A Cabernet Culinary Challenge at Sequoia Grove Winery.
    • This one explores, with instruction, the principles of Cabernet food pairing with a competitive twist.
  • A Cabernet appellation tasting at Elizabeth Spencer Winery
    • This one features small-production, vineyard-designated Cabernet Sauvignon paired with hand-selected artisan cheeses.

The culmination of the weekend, the “Rutherford Round-Up,” will take place Saturday afternoon in the historic olive grove, at Rutherford Ranch, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.. The Rutherford Round-Up will include a Grand Tasting of wines from 20 Rutherford wineries, set in a fun, convivial atmosphere with the live music of one of Napa Valley’s favorite local bands, Serf and James, and wine-friendly cuisine.

“This is an event that we look forward to year after year in Rutherford,” said Regina Weinstein, Director of Marketing at Honig and RDS committee chair of the event. “The 2018 program includes the most exciting wine education seminars we’ve ever had, allowing us to share authentic wine, food, and agricultural experiences with consumers, like never before.”

All-Inclusive Passes for the weekend are available for $230.00, and Saturday Passes are available for $170. A la carte tickets to the individual Wine Experience events are also available. Tickets and passes must be purchased in advance from the Rutherford Dust Society’s website (http://www.rutherforddust.org/wine-experience) no later than Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

  • Welcome Reception: $75.00
  • Saturday Seminars: $95.00
  • Round-Up: $95.00

For more information about the upcoming May event, including a complete list of participating wineries and details of their Wine Experience offerings, please visit www.rutherforddust.org, Rutherford Dust Society’s Facebook page, or email info@rutherforddust.org.