This week, we celebrated our October release! It has been a joy as always to see our members and guests, new and old, enjoying their Ruby Hill favorites. Below, we've provided a pairing guide, complete with recipes, so that everyone can enjoy their release wines to the fullest! Cheers!
Jewel Chardonnay - Harvest Kale Salad
For anyone who loves the freshness of a salad along with the flavors of fall, this one's for you. Bursting with hearty flavors from pumpkin seeds, pomegranate, crispy prosciutto bits, and even a touch of caramelized shallot vinaigrette, this salad is a celebration of flavor. Enjoy alongside a chilled, smooth glass of Jewel Chardonnay and let your taste buds dance. Recipe from Half Baked Harvest.
Reserve Chardonnay - The Coziest Brussels Sprouts
Here is another hearty option for our White Wine lovers! Though brussels sprouts are notoriously difficult to pair with, our Chardonnay with this recipe make a stellar couple. The lightly sulfuric and nutty flavors of the brussels sprouts are generously seasoned with Balsamic vinegar, bacon, pecans, dried cranberries, and more for a delicious symphony with our 2018 Reserve Chardonnay. Recipe from the Real Food Dietitians.
Reserve Petite Sirah - Harissa Grilled Eggplant
If you think you’re not an eggplant fan, think again! For our plant-based friends, this recipe offers scrumptiously mouth watering flavor bold enough to pair with Petite Sirah like a dream. Deliciously intense yet easy to enjoy, this pairing was made for anyone looking to reach out for something new and inspiring. Recipe from One Green Planet.
Jewel Petit Verdot - Grilled Lamb Kebabs
Petit Verdot and lamb are two peas in a pod, with deliciously complimentary taste profiles. Even more, the texture of a juicy grilled lamb kebab is a perfect counterpart to a big round sip of Petit Verdot. Discover a pairing you’ll not soon forget as you enjoy the lightly floral notes and swirling dark fruit of the wine alongside the lamb's savory char. Recipe from Recipes from a Pantry.
Armonia Lot #11 - Italian Beef Stew
Our Club-Exclusive Armonia is a red wine like no other! Each Lot of this unique blend brings together multiple varietals and vintages to create a big and balanced layered complexity. Enjoy this wine alongside a rich and hearty classic: beef stew. It’s the season for warm, comfortable foods, and this flavorful classic promises to delight the taste buds. Recipe from Unicorns in the Kitchen.
Jewel Cabernet Sauvignon - Rich Raspberry Chocolate Cake
The Jewel Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most coveted wines in our collection. With a showstopping 95 point score, this wine begs to be enjoyed again and again. Drink it on its own, with a juicy pepper crusted steak, or indulge a little with this Chocolate Raspberry Cake. Wine and chocolate are best friends, so go for the best of the best. Recipe from Bianca Zapatka.
If you're not a Wine Club Member yet and you're interested in releases like these, click here!
This week, we brought in the last of our fruit, wrapping up the picking phase of harvest with the last of our Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. After every cluster is carefully hand-harvested, we begin the labor of love transforming this delicious fruit into the wines of the future. Winemaking is an intensive process from start to finish, and our winemaker Jesse (above right) and his team will continue to be hard at work creating the magic that later goes into the bottles. Below, we've included a few snapshots of the sorting, stemming, and pressing processes for your enjoyment. Happy Harvest!
Even Draymond can't help but smile about the good he's done!
This past week, we visited our friends at the Valley Humane Society with excellent news. Our mission to actively give back to the community through a luxurious Bordeaux-style blend has been successful! Since this special blend was released in August, it has raised more than $5,000 to benefit the work of VHS and its various programs. Ruby Hill Winery continues to donate $10 to Valley Humane Society for every single bottle of our Cuvée Dray sold.
We are delighted to recognize the incredible joy that pets bring into our lives. Whether you consider yourself a cat person or a dog person, there's no denying that nothing beats the unconditional love of our four-legged friends. The Valley Humane Society serves the community by bringing that love to as many people as possible. In addition to adoption services, programs like Canine Comfort provide companions for stressed students, hospital patients, or even children called to the witness stand. Additionally, programs such as Animeals and Home to Home work to ensure that pets are never homeless and homes are never pet-less, even when owners' situations change. These programs are among the many reasons that we are honored and thankful to partner with VHS.
Draymond and Eric Callahan of Ruby Hill Winery deliver the first Cuvée Dray
check to Melanie Sadek, Executive Director of Valley Humane Society.
As a private nonprofit organization, VHS receives no support from government funds or other external organizations. Their focus on providing resources and care for the pets and people of the local community means that they rely on the generosity of private individuals like you. If you want to skip the wine and help out directly, click here to donate and 100% of the donations will go directly to the Valley Humane Society and their programs.
If you love people, pets, wine, or all of the above, we are delighted to offer you our Cuvée Dray. This 91-point Bordeaux-style blend will taste delicious for years to come, or right into a glass this evening.
We've made it to October! As the weather slowly but surely cools down, we’re feeling an unmistakable draw to our favorite fall recipes. Full of warming spices and fall fruit, these treats are peak-level cozy. Whether you enjoy them with a mug of cider, coffee, hot chocolate, or a glass of wine, these recipes will become instant classics in your home. For all of our wine-lovers, we’ve also included pairing options to help make these the ultimate comfort foods.
Full of rich flavor and toasty warmth, this crumb cake is perfect for early fall. Enjoy a fresh twist on coffee cake, built on a base of ripe pears and accented by the deep notes of the Muscovado sugar. No one can resist the perfect texture of a crumb topping, especially when it is brimming with gingerbread aromas!
Recommended pairing: Solera Dessert Wine
The perfect combination of bitter, sweet, and acid comes into the most delicious balance in this cranberry bread. Accentuated by a light streusel topping and a zesty glaze along with your choice of either walnuts and pecans, this treat is easily enjoyed as both dessert and breakfast.
Recommended pairing: Reserve Chardonnay
You’ll be feeling cozy and warm after a single bite of these cookies. Not only are they gorgeous to look at, they are overflowing with toasty and nutty flavors courtesy of browned butter and roasted pecans. A very light sprinkling of large flake sea salt creates a tiny symphony of every flavor you like in a single bite.
Recommended pairing: Sangiovese
Somehow, these cookies taste the way a crisp autumn morning feels. Sweet, buttery, and tiny touches of savory and salt mingle together in these precious thumbprints. This recipe is versatile enough to shine with other fillings, such as salted caramel or homemade jam. Make a batch and freeze half for a pick-me-up down the road!
Recommended pairing: Sparkling Wine
If there’s two things that you can’t go wrong with in the fall, it’s pumpkin pie and cheesecake. This recipe is the ultimate marriage of these two forces, bringing together the festive flavors of pumpkin with the timeless richness of a creamy cheesecake all in convenient little muffins that take only 30 minutes to make!
Recommended pairing: Sauvignon Blanc
Happy fall feasting! What are your favorite autumn treats? Let us know @Rubyhillwines!
Fall is here, so we have officially reached comfort food season! This week, we're savoring the last few days of September with our Wine of the Month, Reserve Chardonnay. For anyone looking to elevate their mac n' cheese to a sophisticated and gourmet dish, we have the recipe for you. Best of all, it incorporates dry white wine directly into the cheese—we used our Chardonnay, of course!
- 1½ pounds Gruyère, grated
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ¼ teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 apple, cored and sliced
- Panko bread crumbs (optional)
- Heat oven to 400°F. Fold garlic into butter in bowl. Grease casserole pan or baking dish with butter-garlic mixture.
- Toss cornstarch with 1 pound Gruyère. Set aside. Bring pot of water to boil, and add salt. Boil macaroni for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Dunk pasta in cold water to shock, and let drain.
- In same pot, warm wine over medium-low heat. One handful at a time, whisk in cheese until melted. Add pepper and nutmeg. Stir in cooked pasta. Transfer pasta mixture into buttered dish, and top with remaining cheese. If using bread crumbs, add atop and dot with extra garlic butter.
- Cover with foil. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese bubbles. Remove foil, and bake 5 minutes until crisp. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve alongside sliced apples. Serves 4.
This recipe is truly a win-win. It combine our two loves: cheese and wine, and it also gives us a chance to revisit a childhood favorite and make it worthy of a nice dinner party. Our recommendation is to add a few chopped slices of cooked bacon into the mix just before baking. You can thank us later! Is this going into your comfort food rotation? Let us know @RubyHillWines!
Fine art and fine wine are truly integral to human expression and enjoyment. In every era and culture, these themes have shown themselves in some way. Today, we are taking time to look at the intersection of the two: the representation of wine in art throughout the ages.
Ancient wall art depicting harvest and winemaking. This was found in a tomb in Egypt, an example of the deep significance of wine even in ancient cultures. Wine was always among the provisions left in tombs for the afterlife of Egyptian mythology.
In an era where wine consumption was considered by some to be immoral, and was only available to wealthy nobility, wine still played a part in artistic expression. This Medieval era monastic art, celebrates the labor and process of winemaking rather than the wine itself.
This iconic painting by Cravaggio, Bacchus circa 1596, depicts the Roman god of the same name. Baccus was the deity of wine and revelry. Here, he is pictured young, flushed, and satisfied. Both Baccus and his Greek counterpart, Dionysus, were frequent subjects of art in the Renaissance era.
The stunning post-impressionist work above is entitled The Red Vineyard. This piece was painted by Vincent Van Gogh on a single day in 1888 and was the only painting he successfully sold in his lifetime. Van Gogh died destitute but left a rich collection of art that still defines the Impressionist & Post-impressionist era.
Known for his work in cubism, Pablo Picasso incorporated wine and spirits into many of his works, including this 1926 work entitled La Bouteille de Vin (The Wine Bottle). Picasso was a prolific artist, working in a range of styles and mediums, though cubist art pieces like this one are among the most iconic of his works.
Modern artistic movements include Pop Art, such as the Andy Warhol-style rendering above, and Op-art, such as the image below. Op Art is short for Optical Art, which bends the mind's perceptions of flat surfaces. Even in these aggressively modern depictions, wine finds a place.
We're always glad to take a moment to appreciate the finer things in life, from good wine to stunning art. Perhaps it's time to create some of your own, in your own style. All you need is a glass of wine and your medium of choice (paint, pencils, crayons) and you can create your own masterpiece, just for fun! Who knows, you may surprise yourself! If you give it a try, tag us @rubyhillwines.
From a bird's eye view, our Estate Vineyard forms a picturesque patchwork of vines. Our Club-Exclusive Patchwork blend seeks to honor this beauty, celebrating the lovely way our rows of vines are joined together across our acreage in careful blocks. Our entire Estate Vineyard is cherished and cared for to create fruit of optimum quality and purity. Within each block, several varietals have a special section that we farm with the utmost precision to supply our award-winning Jewel Collection series. Below, we have put together a map to see the real-world origins of the Estate-grown wines Ruby Hill Winery is known for.
Many vineyards, including ours, are planted with a north-south orientation. A peek at satellite images of the Livermore Valley will confirm this! The north-south orientation maximizes the fruit's exposure to sunlight, aiding in timely development and maturation. Selectively pruning leaves (a process fittingly called "leafing") to increase sun exposure is also a common practice. When it comes time to harvest, we value handpicking, both to support the quality of our grapes and the sustainability of our practices.
Here in the Ruby Hill Estate Vineyard, harvest 2021 is officially underway! This week, we started with Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese for our Grapeful Rosé, and Chardonnay. Our Winemaker Jesse and the absolutely stellar cellar team are tirelessly at work receiving and processing the fruit—the crucial first steps in creating the wines we love to enjoy from the fruit we have meticulously nourished. If life is too short to drink bad wine, then it's also too short to make bad wine. Fruit matters.
Which 2021 wine are you looking forward to the most? Let us know @rubyhillwines.
This week, we are celebrating our Wine of the Month: Reserve Chardonnay. Our newly-introduced 2018 vintage is a smooth symphony of golden flavors and delicate aromas, perfect for sipping as summer relaxes into autumn. If you haven't had a chance to taste our 2018 Reserve Chardonnay, you can expect to be delighted when you do. Vibrant aromas of lemon cookies and honeysuckle adorn the nose of this wine, leading into a swirling celebration on the palate. Luxurious flavors of honey, apple, and baked goods mingle together before arriving at a finish with a flourish of oak.
We are proud to join in the rich history of Chardonnay in California. The very first records of this varietal succeeding in the New World were right here in the Livermore Valley in the late 1800s, around the time our Estate was founded. The cuttings had been taken from France, the ancestral homeland of Chardonnay, but made themselves at home in the Californian terrior. The quality of Chardonnay from California was a key player in the fight for recognition of New World wines in the worldwide wine scene. Before then, serious wine was the business of France and Italy alone. The Judgement of Paris in 1976, when two Californian wines (one of which was Chardonnay) won against European wines in a blind tasting, helped to usher in the current era. California Chardonnay is now recognized around the globe.
Chardonnay loves California, and the feeling is mutual. Coastal fog that blankets our valley is met by the generous afternoon sun, creating a uniquely perfect environment for Chardonnay grape maturation. Our care for the quality and purity of the fruit allows us to craft a Chardonnay that has the classic buttery, toasted notes of an oaked Chardonnay, but also allows the delicate fruit notes and elegantly balanced acidity to shine through. Californians love Chardonnay—and so does the rest of the US, where Chardonnay is the most consumed white wine by a wide margin. Time to have a sip!
Our 2018 Chardonnay brings together notes of lemon cookies, dandelion honey, fresh honeysuckle, crisp apples, and more. If you think you're not a fan of Chardonnay, we dare you to give it a try!
For this month only, Our Reserve Chardonnay is on sale for only $24. Don't miss out!
Of all of the things that bring joy to our lives, our pets all hold a special place in our hearts. Here at Ruby Hill Winery, we love to celebrate that special bond! Our 2019 Cuvée Dray is not only an ode to the love that pets bring into our lives, it's a way to partner with the community through support of the Valley Humane Society and their multifaceted efforts to promote welfare for both pets and people through creating connections between the two. To continue celebrating our Cuvée Dray, we asked for pictures of your furry friends alongside your favorite wines, and you delivered. We have included a few of our favorites below!Special thanks to @patti_and_doris, @brindledanekane, @margueritebalbuena, @draymond_the_boxer, @ashlaaymarsh (Tucker), @shannon.smith_ (Duck, Red, Luna & Peanut), @akbrown (Luey), @aamandaapleasee (Maverick & Bentley), and @emuhhliiie (Zoe)
If you have ever had a chance to tour our production facility, you will have seen hundreds of our precious oak barrels. Some curious wine lovers may wonder: why oak—and what makes these barrels so special? We select high-quality barriques (the technical term for our 225-liter barrels) for their ability to keep our wines cozy and safe while enriching them with elegant and complex flavor.
Oak has earned its rightful place of honor in the winemaking process. It seems that grapes and oak are just made to work together, a symbiotic relationship that creates the flavors and complexities you know and love. Just like wine, oak contains tannins which impart structure and flavor to the wine aged within it. Oak tannins can be more on the bitter side, but the process of barrel making involves "toasting" the wood, a process which mellows out the tannins and releases delicious compounds that bring essences of vanilla and cream to the picture. Just as the characteristics of a wine depend heavily on the soil and climate in which the fruit was grown, the nature of the oak also varies depending on the region of origin. Here at Ruby Hill Winery, we use barrels of primarily French, American, and Hungarian oak.
The bulk of oak for wine barrels in the US grows in forested areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin. American oak barrels are made from a different species than European oak, allowing for a few key differences including faster cultivation and development and more efficient production. With lively flavors of vanilla and coconut as well as mellow tones of caramel and cream soda, American oak also interacts with wine more than other cultivars, allowing for stronger flavor integration. Wines aged in American oak adopt this personality, along with soft and palatable tannins, making this an ideal choice for big reds and Chardonnays that emphasize the character of the oak.
French oak has a much more finicky makeup, with wood that must be split along the grain to create barrel staves. Because of this, only about 25% of the wood in a French oak tree can be used for barrel-making. Given that French oak trees are much smaller than their American counterparts, French oak barrels often have a much higher price tag. In the case of some wines, however, it is more than worth it. The tight wood grain of the French oak releases flavors much more slowly than American oak, imparting elegant and subtle complexities. Flavors including cinnamon and allspice join dark chocolate notes with a touch of bitterness, and are further complemented by a swirl of crème brûlée.
Hungarian oak barrels are unique in their own right; though crafted from the same species of oak as French oak barrels, Hungarian oak brings extra personality and spice. Unique toasted notes can include roasted coffee, campfire, leather, or black pepper, making this oak especially suitable for wines like Merlot that adapt well to interest and complexity. Hungarian oak lends structure and full mouthfeel with silky tannins, and is known to set wines up for longevity.
Of course, these 3 oaks are not the only cultivars for barrels. Sessile oak, sometimes called Irish oak is the most commonly used wood for Cognac production, and Mongolian oak (or “Mizunara”) is used in the production of Japanese whiskey. Furthermore, some winemakers will use barrels crafted form a combination of oak varietals, or blend wines aged in various types in order to get the perfect balance of flavor and structure.
Due to their expense and hardiness, barrels are often reused. Barrels may be used several times before retirement depending on the winemaker’s preference. After each use, however, the potency of the oak’s effect is reduced and the barrel will eventually be discarded. Because of this, we here at Ruby Hill Winery love to see our barrels off to their new lives as materials for home projects. We want the beautiful oaken craftsmanship to continue for as long as possible. If you’d like to become a part of the story of one of our barrels, now is the time! We are offering a few of our well-loved barrels for purchase—see below for more details.
Enjoy complimentary ground shipping when you order 6 or more bottles.
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