|The site that is now Hewitt Vineyard was first planted to vines in 1880, when Dennis Hanrahan bought the parcel bordering Gustave Niebaum’s Inglenook (now Rubicon Estate). The Hanrahan Ranch survived Prohibition by shipping grapes east to home winemakers. In 1962, William A. Hewitt, head of Deere & Company (John Deere), bought the vineyard and replanted it to Cabernet Sauvignon with the help of famed wine master André Tchelistcheff.
By the late 1800s, Rutherford was already well-known for its high-quality wine grapes. The spot that was to become Hewitt Vineyard first came under vine in 1880, when Dennis Hanrahan planted the parcel bordering Gustave Niebaum’s Inglenook (now Rubicon Estate). In 1900 the region welcomed another winemaking pioneer when French emigrant Georges de Latour purchased land adjacent to Hanrahan and Niebaum and planted the first vines for Beaulieu Vineyard.
The Hanrahan Ranch later passed to Hanrahan’s daughter Julie and her husband, Joseph Gagetta, who made wine prior to Prohibition. During Prohibition, the Gagettas kept the vineyard viable by shipping grapes to home winemakers in the east.
William A. Hewitt, head of Deere & Company (John Deere) from 1955 to 1982, bought the vineyard in 1962. He enlisted the assistance of Beaulieu’s famed winemaker André Tchelistcheff in replanting the site to Cabernet Sauvignon. For a number of years, grapes from Hewitt Vineyard were an important component in many great wines from Rutherford. The inaugural 2001 Hewitt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was the first single-vineyard wine produced from this historic spot.