Napa Valley AVA
Perfecting the art of making world-class wines, taking them to the next level
Founded in 1972 by James (Jim) O’Neil Sullivan, a visionary and pioneer of the Rutherford AVA, Sullivan Rutherford Estate is situated in the heart of Napa Valley, spanning 26 acres of vineyards and lush gardens. For nearly fifty years, the Estate has been an oasis for artists, chefs, friends, and wine lovers, and to this day remains a destination for discerning travelers. Since the beginning, Jim Sullivan’s deep commitment to the vineyards and sophisticated winemaking practices have set the bar for excellence and over the years has helped solidify the winery as one of the best in Rutherford.
Jim Sullivan’s passion for Cabernet Sauvignon was ignited in the 1950’s with a simple grape arbor given to him and his new bride as a wedding gift. He was a graphic artist by trade, known for his work with ‘60’s icons such as The Monkees and Dick Clark Productions, but he also dabbled in home winemaking. As his winemaking skills grew, so did his passion for the vine and for the next two decades, he explored California in order to find the perfect area to grow Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1972, four years before the Judgement of Paris recognized Napa Valley for world-class wines, Jim decided that Rutherford held all the potential he sought. Jim and his wife collaborated with rising star architect John Marsh Davis, chefs, and musicians from all over the world to build an estate that would bring together creative visionaries.
Today, the estate continues to build on its legacy of growing and crafting world-class Cabernet Sauvignon while under new ownership (since 2018). New owner, Juan Pablo Torres Padilla, is committed to building on the vast history of the estate and the 40+ year foundation established by Jim Sullivan, while making the winery one of Napa Valley’s next iconic estates.
Born and raised in Mexico City, Juan Pablo Torres Padilla was originally searching for a vineyard to purchase in Burgundy or Bordeaux, but eventually his attention turned to Napa Valley. “Not only did I fall in love with Napa as I started visiting more frequently, but I’m also convinced that no other place in the world can match Napa Valley’s combination of history, world-class winemaking technology and infrastructure, pioneering spirit and leadership, and of course, the American fervor for entrepreneurship, innovation, and ambition,” Juan has stated. When he discovered the special Sullivan Vineyards property, he knew this place had incredible potential and it was everything he was looking for.
Juan works closely with Sullivan winemaker Jeff Cole, who has been with the team since 2013. Together, they are perfecting the art of making world-class Cabernet Sauvignon and constantly scrutinizing each detail for insights that can take them to the next level. We look forward to the future of Sullivan Rutherford Estate and salute Juan Pablo Torres Padilla for so eloquently honoring this winery’s incredible legacy. The Sullivan 2016 Red Blend is currently available to our Platinum Wine of the Month Club members. Cheers!