Review: Kuleto Estate Winery

240 Sage Canyon Road
St. Helena, CA
(707) 302-2209

The Kuleto Winery is known—rightfully so—for its spectacular views. Perched atop one of Napa Valley’s luscious hills, Kuleto looks out across some of California’s most picturesque agriculture. Get there early in the morning on the right kind of day, and you can watch the fog slowly dissipate off the valley floor, raising the curtain on a clear and beautiful scene.

The site itself was meticulously planned and planted by Pat Kuleto, the famous restaurateur and decorator known for San Francisco restaurants like Boulevard, FarrallonFog City Diner, and the namesake Kuleto’s. Much of Kuleto’s 761 acres in the lush Hennessey Basin is untouched wilderness, and the grapes are planted so as to preserve the integrity of the hillside. And as any proper estate would, this one includes everything from orchards to gardens to a working ranch with sheep, cattle, and more.

kuleto estate

As would be expected of such a magical place, a tasting here is not just a tasting but an experience, combining gorgeous scenery with delectable food and, of course, great wine. Visits, by appointment only, start with a tour (wine in hand, naturally) of the grounds. Then it’s back to the tasting room to sample Kuleto’s crisp, bright whites and dark, dangerous reds, paired with artisan cheeses.  The visit costs $40 per person.

Specialty tastings are also available, including the “Winemaker’s Whim” ($85 per person), an evening with winemaker David Lattin—and whatever wines he chooses to explore. These tastings are paired with a selection of delicious small bites, prepared with ingredients grown on site.

Tours take place daily at 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Appointments are required, so call ahead.

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It’s easiest to drive here. The Estate is located on Highway 128, east of Silverado Trail near Rutherford, north of Napa and south of St. Helena.

Photos: Kuleto Estate