View of the Grgich Hills Winery

What To Do In Rutherford

December 20, 2021
History & Culture

The Napa Valley Wine Train brings you into the heart of wine country. It provides an opportunity to see all this wonderful part of the world has to offer — including charming towns like Rutherford. Known for its unique terroir and famous cabernet sauvignon, Rutherford is an enchanting town surrounded by scenic countryside. It’s also home to many incredible restaurants and wineries that are not to be missed. So if you’re looking for an authentic adventure with a rustic yet refined vibe, Rutherford is the place to delve into.

Here are a few of the places to sip, dine, and see when you visit Rutherford on the Napa Valley Wine Train.


Rutherford offers a getaway like no other for wine lovers. This area was once a riverbed, and its unique, somewhat mysterious soil produces wine with fruit and herb flavors that are tinged with a deliciously distinct spicey element known as “Rutherford Dust”. This famously makes all the wineries in this town stand out from the rest.

And speaking of wineries, there are so many in Rutherford — each with a different history, terroir, and technique. Cakebread Cellars, for example, is known for its chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. There’s plenty to do when you visit here, including red and white wine tasting, group tastings, and even an interactive food and wine pairing experience. Rich in history and family-owned, they embrace environmental responsibility and practice sustainable, organic farming in their vineyards.

For sparkling wine lovers, Mumm Napa is the winery to visit. Their founding winemaker, Guy Devaux, pioneered the traditional method for making champagne. This allows Mumm Napa to create the finest, handcrafted sparkling wine that stays true to its French roots. Enjoy a tasting on their outdoor patio, in the vineyard, or on their elegant oak terrace.

Full of award-winning Napa Valley wines, the family-owned and operated Peju Winery is an enchanting place to visit. The only thing that rivals the wines here is, perhaps, the breathtaking views. Take in the romantic scenery while enjoying an unforgettable tasting experience sipping on authentic wine in their charming vineyard.

Finally, be sure to stop by the must-see Inglenook. This historic winery has been producing some of Napa Valley’s most beloved wines for nearly 140 years. With 235 acres dedicated to vineyards, there is no shortage of grape varieties here. This vast assortment makes each wine different from the next and has established Inglenook as a winery not to be missed.


After a day of exploring the peaceful town of Rutherford and trying delicious wines, one is bound to work up an appetite for something tasty. Luckily, Rutherford is home to two incredible restaurants, the Rutherford Grill and the Restaurant at Auberge.

The Rutherford Grill has nothing but the finest seasonal ingredients that are set to perfectly complement the region’s wines. Enjoy an extensive wine list along with modern American comfort food such as cheeseburgers, salad, oak-grilled salmon, and barbecue pork ribs.

The Restaurant at Auberge has earned its reputation and recognition as a Michelin-starred restaurant and is designed to give guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Executive Chef Robert Curry is dedicated to sourcing only the finest ingredients from local purveyors, harvested at their peak of flavor. Savor amazing dishes such as grilled octopus, heirloom tomato risotto, local spiced lamb, and an array of delectable desserts. With a beautiful setting and incredible food, the Restaurant at Auberge offers an experience you’ll remember long after the meal is done.

Places to Stay

Rutherford is home to two incredible hotels, each with a collection of experiences that will have you living the lux life! With renowned culinary roots, breathtaking views, and exceptional service, the Auberge du Soleil is all California soul inspired by the south of France. With accommodations ranging from private maisons to classic suites and rooms, staying here comes with plenty of perks, including access to some of the most sought-after tours, tastings, and dining experiences in wine country.

If you’ve always dreamed of staying in an idyllic historic boutique hotel, the Rancho Caymus Inn should be high on your list of places to stay. Its classic California style was handcrafted with materials taken and transported from a dismantled 19th-century Yorkshire, Ohio, barn. The result of these lovingly sourced materials is nothing short of spectacular. With beautiful exposed mortise and tenon beams, custom doors, and walnut countertops, you’ll be in awe the second you walk in the door. The Inn has cultivated exclusive relationships with many local wineries, offering the opportunity to experience unique wine tastings. Start your day off with an exceptional breakfast, spend the day by the pool or at the nearby wineries, and end the night with a wine tasting that happens every night on the property!


One of the great things about Rutherford is how close it is to nearby towns, so you can see and experience so much of the Napa Valley with this as your home base. There’s much more to the valley than wineries and fine dining. Spend a day at Golden Haven Hot Springs for a mud bath and discover why people have flocked to the Napa Valley for wellness retreats for over 150 years.

Just a short drive away is Vinters Golf Club in Yountville, home to one of the best championship greens in Northern California. This is a beautiful public golf course with a charming restaurant where you can enjoy lunch with a view of the Maycamas Mountains after a round of golf.

If you’re craving the outdoors, there are plenty of activities just waiting for you to enjoy. Rent a bike from the Napa Valley Bike Tours and ride the 25-mile paved trail that takes you around the valley and back again. If you’d rather explore on foot, there are numerous hiking trails, complete with breathtaking views and magic that Napa Valley is known for.

Get Your Trip to Rutherford on the Rails

No matter what you want to do, there is something for you in Rutherford. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a wine lover’s paradise, the Napa Valley is rich in history, adventure, delicious food, and enchanting views. From places to stay, wineries, restaurants, and more, you are bound to get a unique experience everywhere you go in Rutherford. Your wine journey awaits!

To plan a trip to Rutherford via the Wine Train, click here.

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