Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rutherford AVA - The AVA With the Most Certified Organic Vintners?

I'm heading up to the Rutherford Dust Society tasting (a press event) at Beaulieu today to sample the wines of this renowned Napa region, located just north of the Oakville AVA and just south of St. Helena AVA.
To see this map bigger, click here.
It's home to some of the most historic vineyards in the valley - Inglenook, the George de Latour vineyard (part of Beaulieu today, but alas, not organic), and others. And it's still home to some of the greatest names in wine today: DANA, whose wines received 100 points from Robert Parker and Staglin Family, another supersonic scorer.

André Tchelistcheff, the French-educated Napa
pied piper who led the valley on the path
to great winemaking liked Rutherford's red
soils so much he coined the famous and
often repeated observation, "It takes
Rutherford Dust to make great Cabernet."
Of course, others would dispute that today,
but Rutherford can be a hallmark of high quality.
I've been looking at the society's detailed map showing (almost) all of the vineyard names in the AVA and noticing that a large number of organic vintners in Napa are from this region. (You can purchase a print version of the map online if you're interested - or buy it in Napa). Specifically the following vineyards are certified organic:
Caspar Estate
Chavez and Leeds (sells grapes to Frogs Leap)
DANA Estates
Flora Springs
Frogs Leap
Grgich Hills (biodynamic)
Heitz Cellars (mostly organic)
Long Meadow Ranch
Neal Family Vineyards
Peju (partially organic)
Raymond (partially biodynamic)
Staglin Family
Tres Sabores

Usually in a tasting event, there are just a few organically grown wines I can find. So it's a pleasure to contemplate going to a tasting that, uniquely, has this high a percentage of wines grown from organic vines.

If you're interested in tasting Rutherford wines, the Rutherford Dust Society will be holding its annual Rutherford Block Party Sunday August 4. It's open to the public. Tickets are $45 and may be obtained online here.

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