Hall is a 500-hundred acre estate in the Rutherford Hills of Napa Valley. It was established in 2003 when Craig and Kathryn Hall acquired the historic Bergfeld Winery and then remade it into a state-of-the-art facility certified by LEED, of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a national green building program. Before getting into the wine business, Craig Hall founded the Dallas-based Hall Financial Group and was a part-owner in the Dallas Cowboys. Kathryn Hall comes from a Mendocino grape growing family and served as U.S. Ambassador to Austria from 1997 to 2001. Winemaker is Steve Leveque, who was previously winemaker at Chalk Hill Estate in Sonoma. The estate makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. Robert M. Parker Jr. has complimented the estate’s wines, noting that “this is definitely another serious player in the Napa Valley.”
Rutherford AVA is just north of the Oakville AVA in the heart of Napa Valley, and it is equally distinguished. It is home to Beaulieu Vineyard and inglenook, arguably Napa Valley’s most historically influential wineries. Inglenook started making in wine in the late 19th century, and Beaulieu Vineyards was producing by the first years of the 20th century. BV founder Georges de Latour is particularly esteemed for having recruited Andre Tchelistcheff, a renowned research oenologist, to move from France to Napa Valley in 1938 and run BV’s winemaking. The legendary Tchelistcheff brought European winemaking techniques to Napa Valley and vastly improved wine quality. Other Rutherford winemakers followed his lead. Today there are 5,000 vineyard acres in Rutherford and many acclaimed producers. The famous Silverado Trail with its exclusive, limited production wineries, runs partly through Rutherford AVA. Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignons are characterized by supple tannins, richness, notes of cherry and plum, depth and the ability to age for several decades. Besides Cabernet Sauvignon the AVA also grows Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel. It received its AVA designation in 1994.