In 1996, Leslie Rudd bought 55 acres of premium Oakville property and Girard Winery. His neighbors include Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate, Dalla Valle, Silver Oak, and Joseph Phelps’ Backus Vineyard.
Rudd immediately began renovating the old winery at Girard and replanting his vines with the best rootstocks and clones. He also built a large network of caves that stretch for over 22,000 square feet. Rudd ages and stores his wines in these state of the art facilities. The caves are also an impressive place to taste his wines.
The property’s red soil is a product of the Sonoma Volcanics which were a series of volcanic eruptions that occurred millions of years ago. During this time, much of Napa and Sonoma counties were covered with lava and volcanic ash.
The Director of Vineyards and Winemaking for Rudd is Charles Thomas. His resume includes working at Opus One, Cardinale Estate, and Kendall Jackson. He has over 25 years of experience in the wine industry. Rudd is originally from Wichita, Kansas, and is the Chairman of Dean and DeLuca, a chain of fine food stores.