Mention Rutherford to the most discriminating travel and food aficionados and their thoughts will undoubtedly turn to world-renowned Auberge du Soleil. Wine enthusiasts will summon the names of internationally-known wineries and vineyards in the district. Needless to say, in spite of the fact that this is the smallest hamlet with its own post office in the entire Napa Valley, has only around 160 residents, and has just a couple of restaurants and a general store, the town commands a giant presence.
Just north of Oakville, south of St. Helena, what is now the Rutherford AVA (American Viticultural Area) had its beginning in 1864 when early Napa settler George C. Yount gave 1,064 acres of land to his granddaughter, Elizabeth, and her husband, Thomas Rutherford. He went on to establish himself as a grower and producer of highly sought-after wines and vineyards in the late 1800s.