The famous ‘Rutherford Bench’ is steeped in history, and loaded with some of Napa’s most iconic producers. Here, surrounded by one of Joseph Phelps Insignia-designated sites, the Inglenook Estate, Staglin Family, and the ‘First Growth’ Scarecrow (J.J. Cohn) Vineyard, lies a postage stamp sized diamond – Greer Vineyard.
Cyd Greer describes her and her husband Rob’s Rutherford Estate “one of my favorite places when I’m in the mood to reflect and be in the moment. Sitting on top of the reservoir watching the birds come and go and taking in the layered vistas toward Mount St. John across the Rutherford bench; I can’t imagine anything more divine.” When they first purchased the vineyard in 1985, the original Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard was in its third leaf and first year of harvest.
In the early days, the grapes made their way to Pine Ridge, Tony Soter’s Etude, and eventually into St. Clement’s Oroppas. Around that time, Phylloxera had returned to Napa Valley, and the AxR1 rootstock in the vineyard, like most others, succumbed. After holding out longer than most, they elected to replant, but this time with the plan to make their own wine. Since then, the three-acre plot has offered Cyd and Rob the rare pleasure and pride of enjoying a wine that begins in the unique Rutherford dust and is finished by Aaron Pott’s skilled hand.
At just 2 hectares in size, Greer Vineyard is about 1/5 the size of Scarecrow. It was purchased by Rob and Cyd Greer in the early 1980s and quickly became important source for Opus One. They chose the auspicious 2007 vintage to make their debut, and in short time Greer Cabernet Sauvignon attracted the attention of serious collectors, as well as some of the biggest names in the Valley.
It is part of the terroir that first made Napa Valley internationally famous, and inspired the legendary viticulturist André Tchelistcheff to declare “it takes Rutherford Dust to grow great Cabernet.”
Aaron Pott is a true master of ‘Bordeaux varietals’, on both sides of the Atlantic. Having earned his degree in Fermentation Science at the famed U.C. Davis he followed with a second degree, this time in Viticulture from the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon. In 1990, he became assistant winemaker to John Kongsgaard at Newton in Napa Valley. He was inexorably drawn to Europe once again and in 1993 moved to Bordeaux where he was appointed winemaker at Château Troplong-Mondot in St. Emilion. He then became Director of Winemaking for Château Latour-Figeac, also in St. Emilion, before returning to Napa in 1998 as Winemaker and General Manager for Quintessa in Rutherford.