Christie Kiley on May 4, 2015 1 Comment When I was living in the Napa Valley a few years ago, one of the things I enjoyed was the company of distant friends coming for a visit. Might as well take advantage of a free place to stay, right? That leaves more money for tasting great wines and eating out at the many world-class restaurants! It is unfortunate for those who have the chance to visit Napa but miss out on great wines and amazing winery visits. After all, where does one begin to know what wine is really about than at a visit to one of over four-hundred wineries? Working and living in the valley sure has it perks. If you are extra lucky, a great experience will be an added bonus. For me, Round Pond was one of those places I wanted to take visiting friends to, not just for the wine, but for the experience. The location is pretty great too. Before I get into the wine, let me tell you a little bit about the estate. An Account of Round Pond Round Pond is located in the Rutherford region of the Napa Valley–a region that has arrived at great status for producing elegant and classic red wines. It is also home to some of the oldest wineries in the United States. It is here that the climate has proven itself to be ideal for some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon, such as the Round Pond Estate 2012 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon. But first, a little more about the estate’s story. The soils of the region are a composite of all the deposits over millions of years from the Napa and Russian Rivers and Conn Creek. The diversity of the soils is what makes the wines of this area so vast in character. Round Pond has been cultivating top-rated fruit since early on in the 80’s and not just used in their own wines, but sold to other renowned wineries of the local region. The Name Today, the winery is run by the second generation of the MacDonnell family. As a child, founder Bob MacDonnell would spend many of his summers camping out near Lake Frederick in West Point, New York–also known as “Round Pond”. This was a sanctuary for him when he was growing up. When he settled in Napa with his family later on in life, he came here to Rutherford which brought back memories of his childhood retreat. That is what his estate was for him in his new home and so he dedicated the name to his newly found retreat of serenity and beauty. Their Philosophy It has been over twenty years that the family have been growing some of the best grapes in the valley. Their quality and classic wines are successful for what they believe is a blend of the Old World traditions with the innovations of today. They really involve themselves in the entire process, and being in touch with their land is where it starts. They walk their vineyards and orchards daily. Everything on the estate is organically and sustainably farmed and it is only best when hand-harvested. Remember what I said about coming to Round Pond for an experience as well as tasting some of the valley’s best? Well, the MacDonnell family just does not stop at wine. They produce their own hand-crafted olive oils, red wine vinegars and fruits of their orchards. You can visit Round Pond and have a chef from the winery cater what will be an incredible food and wine experience. This is what wine is all about after all! Sure, you can sip on great wine, but why not pair it with great food to accentuate all the best characters of each? If you find yourself in the Napa area any time soon, call them and set up a reservation and make an afternoon of the experience, no rush. The Wine You are sure to love this wine. While most of Napa Cabs are sometimes perceived as masculine and robust, this is surprisingly feminine. The color is elegant and inspiring with its reflections of dark berries and ruby. The nose is well-rounded and complex with notes of just-barely-ripe blackberries and early spring red berries, perfumes of vanilla sugar, creme brulee and chocolate bon bons. The first sip will give way to ripe raspberry, blood plums, red currants with a finish of dark cherry, marzipan and morning toast with strawberry jam.