Round Pond Estate
Round Pond Estate, owned and operated today by the second generation of the MacDonnell family, is a Rutherford farm and winery that specializes in the creation of pure, expressive wines, artisan foods and unforgettable experiences—all from the heart of Napa Valley.
At Round Pond, they believe that excellence is achieved through a seamless blend of Old World traditions and state-of-the-art innovation. They walk the vineyards and orchards daily and carefully tend to our grape vines and olive trees. All of their fruit is sustainably farmed and hand-harvested. And though their mill is equipped with the finest modern technology, they perform all of our blending and bottling by hand in order to ensure the highest levels of quality. By combining the best of the old with the best of the new, Round Pond strives to create modern classics.
For nearly a quarter century, the MacDonnell family has been growing some of the finest wine grapes in the heart of the Napa Valley’s acclaimed Rutherford region. Home to some of the most famous American vineyards, and some of the most coveted Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, Rutherford is widely recognized as one of the great viticultural regions of the world.
Brother-Sister team, Miles MacDonnell and Ryan MacDonnell serve as Owners and CEO’s of Round Pond Estate. Ryan manages direct-to-consumer sales, hospitality, and marketing as well as the production of the estate’s olive oils and other specialty gourmet foods.
“As a family we have always enjoyed sharing the day’s stories around the dinner table, with fantastic wine and homegrown food as the centerpiece,” says Ryan. “I’m so grateful to be able to share this joy and all that comes from our estate with others as well.”
Miles MacDonnell joined Round Pond Estate after a career in auditing with Deloitte. Originally a graduate of Southern Methodist University in psychology and economics, he returned to school in 2005, maintaining his responsibilities at the winery while pursuing his MBA at Boston College. His current role at Round Pond Estate includes heading up viticulture, wine production, and wholesale sales. “Ryan and I are incredibly lucky to live and work with our family on family land,” says Miles. “Basically, we grew up camping out in these vineyards, exploring the river, and riding four-wheelers up and down the valley. As a family, we enjoyed the farm-to-table lifestyle before it was fashionable. The philosophy is a perfect fit for our company, with its estate winery and olive mill.”
Today, Miles lives on the estate with his wife, Katie, and their children, Robbie, Maggie and Ali. Ryan and her family lives across the vineyard, and so do their parents – keeping the estate at center of the MacDonnell’s family life.
so•ca derives it’s name from several sources: a Peruvian word for sugarcane, a popular style of Caribbean music, and inspiration from a well known geographical divider, the Tropic of Cancer. Located just north of the Equator, this line of latitude divides many countries around the world. so•ca centers its focus on the islands and Americas south of this geographical border (south of the tropic of cancer).
so•ca cocina latina brings the flavors of this region to Cameron Village where we share our exotic culinary story seven nights a week during dinner service and on the weekends during brunch. Many of the items on the so•ca menu allow diners to travel to these unfamiliar lands without needing to leave the comforts of the Triangle. The available dishes are inspired by the foods commonly eaten in the over 20 countries represented on the so•ca menu.
A large selection of Latin-inspired street and Caribbean soul small plates lead the menu. Share, mix and match and have fun, before moving to our entrée section and dine on street inspired dishes of robust steak, elegant fish, exotic lamb and chicken dishes followed by flavorful and exotic postres. A variety of dining options help make so•ca a unique experience for all kinds of guests. Our casual fine dining level of service and atmosphere lend themselves nicely to any occasion, including important celebrations, business dinners, or just a girls’ night out. The large selection of gluten free and vegetarian dishes means that all diners have plenty of choices.
Executive Chef Eli Rodriguez, originally from El Salvador, relocated to Long Island when he was 8 years old. His grew up in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother and learned to love food and cooking from a young age. His family would often host large dinner parties and family gatherings and it was these experiences that made him realize the bonds that are formed over the dinner table. Knowing he wanted a future as a professional chef, Eli got a job as a line cook at a local country club while still in high school. After high school he attended the Lincoln Culinary institute in Hartford, Connecticut and after graduating in 2011 he moved to NYC where he lived for 5 years, working for several chefs that taught him the value of producing sustainable and local cuisine. In 2015, Eli moved to North Carolina in search of a quieter and more comfortable way of life. He originally moved to Wilmington before relocating to Raleigh and joining our team here at so•ca.