Passionate followers of the Napa Valley cabernets are particular fans of those from Rutherford. Rutherford's soil, a former riverbed, creates a distinctive yet compelling flavor locally called "Rutherford dust." The cabernets may be enjoyed at any of the many wineries in this small town.

Many local gourmet restaurants feature the bold cabs and pair them expertly with some very fine dining experiences. Francis Ford Coppola purchased the Inglenook wine estate in 1975 and has added a museum dedicated to the history of Inglenook and the development of the cinema. The antique zoetropes and magic lanterns add an air of mystery for a lovely stroll around the grand estate. Many wineries are in or near historic Rutherford.

Rutherford is a census-designated place (CDP) between Oakville and St. Helena with a population of 164 as of the 2010 census. It was named for Thomas Rutherford, a mid-19th century vintner, who received 1,040 acres as a wedding present from General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo when he married the general's granddaughter in 1838.

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