In the prune orchard facing east toward downtown Saint Helena, early 1940's

Welcome to the Ruston Family Vineyards website.  We are a vineyard and winemaking company located in California’s Napa Valley.  Our small, gently sloping hillside vineyard is located west of the town of St. Helena.  Our family has been farming here since 1941.  In place of the old prune and walnut orchards, we now grow cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot grape vines.   We also buy grapes from a few choice vineyards in the Napa Valley, such as the Stagecoach Vineyard, in the mountains east of Oakville, and the Kenefick Ranch in Calistoga.

Under the canopy in our vineyard

Our wines from the 1999-2001 vintages were made by Bordeaux-trained winemaker Philippe Melka.  Joshua Krupp, another rising star of Napa winemaking, joined us for the 2002 harvest.  Prior to that, Joshua worked with Mia Klein at Fisher Vineyards, Paul Hobbs and Michel Chapoutier in the Rhone Valley. 

We have six delicious wines currently on release:  

Ruston Family Vineyards 2001 La Maestra 

$45 per bottle,  $100 per magnum   

This wine is made from certified organic grapes grown in our own vineyard.  The blend is 46% cabernet sauvignon, 38% merlot, 11% cabernet franc and 5% petit verdot.  This is a rich wine, with pure, jammy flavors conveying an intricate fusion of black, purple and red fruits.  It has the opulence of the great Napa cabernets, but with more complexity due to the blend of grapes.  “La Maestra” in our family is Lorraine Ruston, who first planted vines on our property and who teaches English as a Second Language at the community college in St. Helena.  (470 cases produced)

Ruston 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena   

$38 per bottle,  $19 per half-bottle (375 ml),  $85 per magnum

This wine is made from small lots sourced from four vineyards in the St. Helena appellation.  It is a classic Napa Valley cabernet, made more complex and a little softer by the judicious addition of 21% merlot and 2 % cabernet franc.  It tastes like… cabernet sauvignon.  It is very nicely balanced, neither over-tannic, over-oaked nor over-extracted.  (947 cases) 

Ruston 2001 Cabernet Franc Napa Valley   

$30 per bottle

We are very pleased with this wine, and recommend it highly.  The grapes came from vineyards in Oakville and the Oak Knoll appellation, north of Napa.  The wine has the aromas of lavender and violets associated with cabernet franc from the Loire Valley, a slight earthiness expressed by the same grape grown in Bordeaux, and the ripe, juicy character of Napa Valley wines. (267 cases)

Ruston 2000 Cuvée Simone  

$26 per bottle,  $13 per half-bottle

We named this wine for a girl we know who is very sweet and a little bit spicy.  The blend is 63% cabernet sauvignon, 21% merlot, 12% cabernet franc and 4% petit verdot.  This is the most Bordeaux-like of our wines.  At first it comes across as fairly earthy, and then a core of sweet cassis fruit rises up, accented by subtle flavors of cedar, mint, spices, black cherries, tobacco leaves and toast.  (1015 cases) 

Ruston 2000 Merlot St. Helena  

$26 per bottle,  $13 per half-bottle

This wine is pure merlot, mostly from the Garvey Vineyard in St. Helena with some Caldwell Vineyard fruit.  It has lush flavors of plums, cherry confit and cocoa, with a very smooth, almost buttery texture.  (960 cases) 

Ruston 2002 Sauvignon Blanc

$16 per bottle,  $8 per half-bottle

Our sauvignon blanc is quite rich for a white wine, with aromas and flavors of white flowers, melons, kiwifruit, citrus and cream, and a long, racy finish.  (1267 cases)


Ruston 2003 Semillon Juliana Vineyard

$20 per bottle, $13 per half bottle

Semillon is a white grape from Southwest France that has reached its zenith in Bordeaux, where it is the base for the great sweet wines of Sauternes and the dry whites of Graves.  Our dry semillon offers flavors of pear, pippin apple and banana cream pie with a hint of vanilla and a crisp finish.  The wine is rich and textured in the mouth without being heavy.  It tastes great now and will improve over the next year. (1608 cases)

Where to find our wines

You may have seen Ruston Family Vineyards wines on the lists of some of the nation's best restaurants including A.O.C., Ambria, Chez Panisse, Chinois on Main, Daniel, Craft, The French Laundry, Gramercy Tavern, Jean-Georges, La Toque, Mark’s American Cuisine, The Restaurant at Little Nell, Sierra Mar, Spago, T. Cook’s, Topper’s at the Wauwinet, Tru and Veritas.  The wines are also available directly from us (statute allowing) and from fine wine stores in California.  Our wine is distributed in many states, but on a limited basis due to our small production.  If you'd like assistance locating our wines in your state, please let us know.  We can be contacted via email:, or by phone: 707 967-8025.

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