Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence
The heritage of the Estate dates back two centuries to 1821 when ownership of the Napa Valley transitioned from Spain to Mexico. Twenty years later the Napa Valley was divided into two parcels through a land grant given by Governor Juan Alvarado —Rancho Caymus to the South, and Rancho Carne Humana to the North. Sullivan’s property lies on this historic division.
In 1918, brothers Adolphe and Virgil Galleron acquired 402 acres in Rutherford with the purpose of farming the land and building a family business. The Rutherford ranch was primarily used for raising sheep and a variety of agricultural crops including walnuts, prunes, peaches, and grapes. Their surname is the namesake for Galleron Road where the winery is located today.
A new era began with James O’Neil Sullivan’s passion for creating great wine.
Jim Sullivan’s interest in wine was ignited in the 1950s with a simple grape arbor given to him and his new bride as a wedding gift and he began to make wine at home before moving his family to Rutherford. and establishing Sullivan in 1972.
Predating the 1976 Judgement of Paris which famously recognized Napa Valley wines as among the best in the world, Jim was a true visionary and pioneer establishing Sullivan in 1972.
For nearly five decades, the Estate was an oasis for wine lovers. The Sullivans quietly sold wine directly to their friends and family and the winery remained relatively undiscovered for many years.
At the center of the property, the family residence is a unique architectural jewel, built with geometric precision and cardinal representation. James O’Neil Sullivan worked with celebrated architect John Marsh Davis, known as one of the most acclaimed representatives of the Frank Lloyd Wright aesthetic.
Today the Estate continues to build on its legacy of growing and crafting world class Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Under new family ownership in 2018, the team is deeply investing in its vineyard programs and plans are underway to build a state-of-the-art winery and hospitality facilities. Led by entrepreneur Juan Pablo Torres-Padilla, who has gradually gathered one of the top teams of wine professionals in the country to lead the Estate, recognizes great potential for crafting exquisite wines and one of the top visitor experiences.