MacArthur Place Partner Spotlight: Lee Hudson, Hudson Ranch and Vineyards

A Wine Country Icon.

Situated in the rolling hills of the Carneros District, Hudson Ranch and Vineyards does a little bit of everything beautifully — owner Lee Hudson and his wife, Cristina, have made sure of that. Since establishing the property in 1981, the Hudsons now produce world-class wine grapes and Tuscan olives for olive oil, raise heritage breed pigs, lamb and chickens, and grow a variety of produce for the ranch’s grocery store, Hudson Greens and Goods.

The Working Ranch: Hudson Ranch & Vineyards

Founded in 1981 by wine country icon and native Texan, Lee Hudson, Hudson Ranch is a majestic 2,000-acre farm in the heart of Carneros. In this viticultural area characterized by rolling hills and maritime breezes, Lee and his wife Cristina sustainably grow world-class grapes, Tuscan olives and an array of seasonal fruits and vegetables, in addition to raising heritage breed pigs, lambs and chickens.

Monikered “Napa’s gentleman farmer who does it all” by SFGate.com, Lee Hudson hailed from Houston Texas, by way of Burgundy France, and found the Northern California land to be a mecca for agriculture.

Lee found love for working the land in his early years with planting gardens in the back yard then followed his horticulture curiosity to the University of Arizona and received a B.S. in Horticulture.  Lee traveled to Burgundy and ended up working with his first wine mentor, Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac in Morey-Saint-Denis.  Continuing his vinification studies he went to UC Davis to study winemaking.

Hudson Wines

The Chardonnay from Lee Hudson’s ranch has long been treasured for its richness and depth. Don’t be surprised if you find Hudson grapes on the labels of other small vineyards.  From an interview with Napa Wine Project Lee says, “the only additions we make to this wine are blood, sweat, tears and sulfer.”  The vineyard also tenderly produces Syrah, Merlot and 14 other varieties among his 160 acres of grapes. A few site-specific favorites are the Aleatico (surprisingly, a dry aromatic white), Grenache “Pick Up Sticks” and Ladybug Chardonnay (a nod to Cristina’s nickname).

Immerse yourself in the Hudson agrarian paradise with a ranch tour and intimate tasting, paired with provisions from the estate, in the family’s modern desert-style winery and open-air tasting galleries.  Plan a stop to Oxbow Public Market to experience Hudson Greens and Goods, their specialty grocery showcasing the ranch’s bounty of organic produce and juice bar.

MacArthur Place and Bohemian Highway work together to curate unique vineyard experiences and can include Hudson Ranch and Vineyard on a custom itinerary through our Behind the Cellar Door package.

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