The narrative of the Rudd story is driven by the value Leslie places on tradition and family, values reflected by his desire to create a multigenerational winery with a legacy of excellence. As a young man working for his father’s wholesale liquor company in Wichita, Kansas, Leslie learned the alcoholic spirit business from the ground up. His dream of owning a winery took root on a trip to France in the mid 60’s when Leslie visited the legendary Haut-Brion in Bordeaux. Leslie was impressed by the Chateau’s deep appreciation not only of its heritage but also the central role played by multiple generations of family. Profoundly impacted by this experience, Leslie was determined to someday create a vineyard and winery with this same dedication and sense of place and establish the same legacy for his family. In 1996 the fulfillment of the dream began when he purchased the 55-acre Oakville estate after concluding the site was capable of producing unique luxury wines of world class quality. The 2000 vintage was the first Rudd Oakville Estate Red bottled, and in the more than a decade since then, we have limited production in order to pursue the tradition of excellence and attention to detail, while always adhering to our philosophy of continuous improvement. The last in a series of five volcanic landslides created a small sliver of land in Napa Valley and gifted it with the rare combination of attributes necessary to grow high quality Bordeaux grape varietals. Measuring only one mile wide and one and one half miles long, this strip of land winds across the valley floor in the Oakville appellation, through the 55 acre Rudd Oakville Estate Vineyard, and continues north only one-half additional mile. Leslie Rudd was fortunate to become steward of a portion of this land in 1996. His reverence for ensuring that the land achieves its full potential is shared by every Rudd employee and underlies every action we take in the fields as well in the cellar. His vision for the winery was founded upon a passion for the land and a clear intent to build a multi-generational winery with a legacy of excellence.
An exceptional wine as well as a historical curiosity is the Edge Hill Mixed Blacks. A compelling old vine field blend of Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, Mourvédre, Grenache, Carignane, and Alicante Bouche. It exhibits an extraordinary nose of violets, incense, blackberries, blueberries, camphor, and spring flowers as well as amazing concentration, tremendous texture and length, and no hard edges.