Over ten years ago, owner and renowned restaurateur Pat Kuleto had the vision to plant vines on some steep hillsides overlooking Lake Hennessey and the town of Rutherford. Kuleto’s goal was to produce ultrapremium Napa Valley wines and to create a stunningly beautiful setting on the mountain top.
Kuleto had an intuition that this "unplantable land” was full of hidden treasures. Beneath the manzanita scrub, chaparral and madrone trees, there was soil perfectly suited to growing wine grapes. Vineyard planting began in 1993. Each terraced block was planted "site-specific” with rootstock best suited to the diverse soils and exposures, and grafted to a diverse range of varietal clones. Plantings begin at 1,100 feet elevation and continue to nearly 1,400 feet. Today, 90 acres of the rough terrain are planted.
The shallow, well-drained "Shattered Franciscan” Shale soil imparts an underlying flavor profile inherent to all Kuleto wines. Along with varietal distinction and robust complexity, undertones of mushroom, spice, sage, and dust live in all Kuleto wines.
As suspected, the wines produced from the steep rocky slopes are extraordinary. This is not surprising, given the proximity to the trophy wines of neighboring Bryant Family Vineyards, Colgin, Long Vineyards, David Arthur, Chappellet, Harrison, and Bruce Nyers.