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Discover Judd’s Hill on our Napa Valley wine tour

Wine educator at Napa Valley's Judd's Hill Winery

We chatted with Todd Rickhoff, wine educator and tasting guru at Judd’s Hill winery in Napa. Here, he shares his insights from more Wine educator at Napa Valley's Judd's Hill Winerythan 30 years in the industry.

Tell us a little about your background in the wine biz . . .

I started in the late 1970s when my brother-in-law bought the Franciscan Winery. Later I went to Durango and Denver, Colorado, and operated retail wine stores there. In 2004, I moved back to the Napa Valley and worked at several prominent wineries.

And then you decided to join Judd’s Hill – why?

After spending time at corporate wineries, it’s fun to be part of a family-run boutique winery. We produce just 3,000 cases a year for our own label and custom-bottle for individuals and grape growers.

Give us a quick family history . . .

In the 1960s, architect Art Finkelstein started making wine at home in LA. He began winning awards and soon his hobby outgrew his garage. That’s when he came to Napa, bought some land and designed and built Whitehall Lane Winery.

But Art really wanted to be a small, custom winemaker, so he sold Whitehall in the mid-80s. A few years later, he started Judd’s Hill which he operates with his son Judd and the rest of his family.

Do you have special events at the winery?

For people who want to go deeper into winemaking, we host Bottle Blending Day Camps. We teach how to make French Bordeaux blends from four different varietals. At the end of the day, they get to cork and label their bottles and take them home.

What is Judd’s Hill known for?

We’re proud of all 18 wines but the mainstays are our Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Sirah, Napa Cabernet, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

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