The narrative of the Rudd story is driven by the value Leslie places on tradition and family, values reflected by his desire to create a multigenerational winery with a legacy of excellence. As a young man working for his father’s wholesale liquor company in Wichita, Kansas, Leslie learned the wine and spirits business from the ground up. His dream of owning a winery took root on a trip to France in the mid 60’s when Leslie visited the legendary Haut-Brion in Bordeaux. Leslie was impressed by the Chateau’s deep appreciation not only of its heritage but also the central role played by multiple generations of family. Profoundly impacted by this experience, Leslie was determined to someday create a vineyard and winery with this same dedication and sense of place and establish the same legacy for his family.
In 1996 the fulfillment of the dream began when he purchased the 55-acre Oakville estate after concluding the site was capable of producing unique luxury wines of world class quality. The 2000 vintage was the first Rudd Oakville Estate Red bottled, and in the more than a decade since then, we have limited production in order to pursue the tradition of excellence and attention to detail, while always adhering to our philosophy of continuous improvement.