Cabernet Franc is the parent grape of both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. It's lighter in body than Cabernet Sauvignon and is typically used as part of the blend in traditional Bordeaux-style wines. Cabernet Franc is often vinified on its own in France's Loire Valley, and its popularity is growing steadily in the United States.
Our 2018 Ruby Hill Cabernet Franc is a blend of 83% Cabernet Franc, 9% Barbera, 4% Petit Verdot, and 4% Petite Sirah. A rush of cherry and red raspberry and savory herbs fill the nose. On the palate, vibrant sour cherries and hints of spiced chocolate. The addition of Barbera adds complexity and acidity to the overall wine, creating an ideal balance. We aged the wine in a blend of new and neutral French Oak for 20 months before bottling. The wine has a round mouthfeel with well-balanced acidity, complexity of flavor, and a long finish. It's a perfect pairing for barbequed meats, savory pizzas, and hearty fall stews.
To celebrate its release, we've added it to the new tasting flight for October. Please stop by the winery to enjoy a tasting and let us know what you think! We're open to walk-ins Monday through Thursday and by appointment Friday through Sunday. Call us at 925-931-9463 to reserve your tasting at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, or 3:30 pm. We look forward to seeing you!
The cooler temperatures are finally back, and what better way to start the weekend than with a round of golf?
Here in the Livermore Valley, we're fortunate to have award-winning courses with beautiful views, and not too far from wine country. We've put together a short list of our favorite golf courses in Livermore Valley for you to look into for your next weekend getaway. Gather a group of friends for a morning tee time and then swing through to Ruby Hill and relax in the shade under one of our covered patios to enjoy a wine tasting. We always have something cold or something bold for you to sip on. We can't think of a better way to enjoy the weekend!
Top 5 Golf Courses in Livermore Valley
Located in the heart of the Livermore Valley Wine Country, you'll enjoy 360-degree views of wine country while you play a challenging 27-hole Rees Jones designed golf course.
Las Positas Golf Course features a 27 hole facility in Livermore Wine Country. Choose from either The Signature 18 hole course or the equally challenging Links 9.
Enjoy scenic views of Mount Diablo and the Callippe Butterfly sanctuaries while you play this challenging and dramatic 72-hole course.
Nestled in the rolling hills of the Tri-Valley, the Dublin Ranch Golf Course offers panoramic views of Livermore Valley and Mount Diablo. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, this par 63 offers quite the challenge.
Just a hop, skip, and jump away from Ruby Hill Winery, is Ruby Hill Golf Course. The only downside is that this is a members-only course. Make a new friend who can get in to enjoy this expansive 14-acre golf facility. And then bring them over to Ruby Hill Winery for a wine flight while you take in some vineyard views.
Ready to put together your golf weekend? Schedule your tee time and then give us a call at 925-931-9463 to make a reservation for your tasting! We hope to see you soon!
It's October, harvest is almost over, and we're excited to enjoy all of our favorite activities of the season. We love fall in wine country; the mornings are a little color and the light changes. The leaves on the vines start to change into those beautiful tones of orange and yellow and red, filling the valley with vibrant color.
Things continue to look a little different in 2020 due to the pandemic, but the great thing about fall is that the temperatures are just right for being outdoors. There are some fun fall options to enjoy in Livermore Valley, and we're sharing a few of them here for you. Take a look and start planning your October fall adventures!
Fun Fall Activities in Livermore Valley
Witches Night Out! Moonlight Dining and Shopping! - This annual event has been revamped to ensure everyone's safety, but it will still be a blast! Gather a group of friends and reserve a table at a restaurant for dinner and wine while you get a head start on your holiday shopping. Participating retail shops will be open until 9 o'clock for the night. Wear your witch hat and cackle with your friends for a fun night out.
Family Fun at Joan's Farm - Head out to Joan's Farm for an afternoon of family fun at the pumpkin patch. Enjoy the lovely Sycamore trees while you pick out your porch pumpkins. They have a snack shack serving pumpkin pie and other fall favorites.
Weekend Ranger Nature Program - Trick or Treat in the Park - If you're looking for a socially-distant Trick-or-Treat option for the kids and grandkids, make a reservation with the Livermore Park District. Make a reservation for this special event where you'll learn about the spookier critters that live in the park while taking a lovely stroll after hours collecting treats.
Wine Tasting with the Livermore Wine Trolley - Enjoy the cooler temperatures with a ride on the Livermore Wine Trolley. Enjoy an all-inclusive wine-tasting tour to various wineries throughout the year, rain or shine, in the Livermore Valley. Visit three wineries and enjoy a pre-ordered lunch with your reservation. Perfect for small groups of up to 6 people.
Drive Through Haunted House - For those who enjoy spookier adventures, the Alameda Fairgrounds hosts a Haunted Theme Park. This year, you and your friends will see who has nerves of steel as you drive through the haunted fairgrounds.
Let's make the most of this season and enjoy all that Livermore Valley has to offer!
Fall is finally here, which means crisp, cool mornings and nights - also known as sweater weather. While we love the heat of summer and harvest season, we love this change in the season when the leaves in the vineyard start to change color, and everything slows down a little. It's also the perfect season for gathering around the fire pit with a glass of red wine.
We came upon this DIY project for a fire pit made out of a wine barrel and thought it was a pretty cool way to upcycle some of the used barrels we have at the winery. If you're looking for another way to add more wine country decor to your outdoor space, this is it! This tutorial is courtesy of Instructables. If you're in need of a barrel, we have some available for sale at our sister winery, Rubino Estates. Head on over during regular business hours to check them out!
DIY Wine Barrel Fire Pit
- Sheet sander/Belt Sander
- Sandpaper 60/80 Grit & 120/150 Grit
- Wood Stain
- Fire Pit 29'' Home Depot Fire Pit
- Wine Barrel cut in half
- Prepare the barrel for staining by sanding the exterior. Start with the roughest grit and then move on to the finer grit until the exterior is completely smooth.
- Stain the barrel to your liking.
- Sand down the metal bands using 80 grit to remove any drips of stain.
- Insert fire pit bowl and grate into wine barrel.
And there you have it! Though we'd add one more final instruction: Light fire and enjoy a nice glass of Ruby Hill wine! It's the last week for our wine of the month, the 2016 Ruby Hill Reserve Petite Sirah; it's the perfect fireside sipping! Tag us on social @rubyhillwines the next time you're cozying up around the fire pit.
It's National Cheeseburger Day, and honestly, we're pretty happy about it. The temperatures have cooled down a bit this week, so we're spending as much time outside as possible. And we've never met a burger that we didn't like.
There's still a little bit of mystery about who was the first person to put cheese on a burger patty, but they became popular in the 1930s. Now, you find hundreds of variations on the cheeseburger that are full of unexpected flavors. Below are a few recipes from Food & Wine magazine and Ruby Hill wines that we think will pair perfectly with some of these bold recipes.
Tag us on social and let us know your favorite pairings!
If you're looking for a lighter style of burger that still packs a flavorful punch, try this one made with ground chicken. Our Zinfandel complements the sweet and smokey flavors of the barbeque sauce.
For the blue cheese lovers out there, these burgers topped with stilton are a must-try. The unique flavor of the blue cheese with pickled red onion and sweet, caramelized onions are a perfect match for the robust flavors of our Petite Sirah.
Caprese salad, but on a burger? Top your burger with an herby pesto and melted mozzarella for a carnivorous take on a classic salad. Go with an Italian variety, like Sangiovese!
The 2020 harvest is underway. The year has certainly presented its challenges, but one thing is for sure, Mother Nature doesn't quit. The great thing about her persistence is that in the end, we will still end up with, well, the fruits of our labor. Below you'll see some images from our pick and processing of the last bit of Sauvignon Blanc and Sangiovese. We hope you enjoy this visual diary of our week.
Next up will be more of the reds. Let's hope the weather cooperates so that we can continue through harvest safely and bring in all the delicious fruit that will become the 2020 vintage of Ruby Hill wines!
Perfect Pot Roast for September's Wine of the Month: Best in Show 2016 Ruby Hill Reserve Petite Sirah
The 2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah is a blend of 91% Petite Sirah, 4% Zinfandel, 3% Petit Verdot, and 2% Merlot. Cocoa, baking spices, vanilla, and vibrant dark fruit bursts through on the nose. On the palate, subtle hints of tea leaf and tamarind reveal themselves at the beginning, and the finish is long and satisfying with a focus on cocoa, cream, and vanilla.
The wine was a blend of some early pick and some late pick Petite, to balance acidity, alcohol and ripe flavors in the final wine. We then aged the wine aged in a mix of 60% New French (38%), American Oak (54%), and Hungarian Oak (8%) for 22 months before bottling. The result is an intense and rich, yet quite approachable Petite Sirah.
Our 2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah was not only Best in Show but took home Double Gold, Best in Class, and Best Red at this year's Livermore Valley Uncorked!
We think it's the perfect wine to use for making one of our favorite fall dishes, The Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pot Roast. Let us know what you think!
Perfect Pot Roast
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- One 3- to 5-pound chuck roast
- 2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 whole onions, peeled and halved
- 6 to 8 whole carrots, unpeeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 cup red wine, optional
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
- Generously salt and pepper the chuck roast.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the halved onions to the pot, browning them on both sides. Remove the onions to a plate.
- Throw the carrots into the same very hot pot and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so. Reserve the carrots with the onions.
- If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pot. Place the meat in the pot and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
- With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom with a whisk. Place the roast back into the pot and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway.
- Add in the onions and the carrots, along with the fresh herbs.
- Put the lid on, then roast for 3 hours for a 3-pound roast. For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours. The roast is ready when it's fall-apart tender.
Want to try a taste? You can order the 2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah in our online shop, or swing by the tasting room and enjoy it as part of our flight!
It's National Red Wine Day and as we head into fall, a glass of red wine sounds mighty fine. While we love all wines, at this time of year, the reds win us over. They are great matches for the heartier meals we enjoy during harvest season.
Here are a few of our favorite red wines for National Red Wine Day.
Our Favorite Red Wines for National Red Wine Day
The aromas are dense with varied fruit, such as cherries, dried cranberries, dates, raspberries, figs, and plums. On the palate, the tannins are very smooth. A little bit of vanilla from the oak peaks through along with a hint of black pepper. This wine has a mild body with fruit flavors lingering on the finish. Pairs nicely with bold-flavored foods like BBQ, pizza, and stews.
A jammy and fruit-forward wine, the nose reveals plums, sweet cherries, milk chocolate, and raspberry. The flavors on the palate mirror the aromas, offering a mouthful of vibrant fruit. The mouthfeel is mid-weight and smooth with well-integrated tannins and a long finish. The flavor adds to the fruit character with notes of milk chocolate. Pait with Roasted beet salad, rosemary, and pepper-crusted pork tenderloin or chocolate mousse with raspberries.
The nose is bright, full of cherry and strawberry aromas with mild hints of oak and vanilla flavors. This wine has a very robust mouthfeel and a smooth texture with a lingering finish focused on vanilla notes. Pairs beautifully with tomato-based dishes, and lighter to medium fare cuisine.
Tag us on social @rubyhillwines and celebrate National Red Wine Day with us!
Across the state of California, we're experiencing an unprecedented heatwave and we're doing our part to conserve energy as we can. Thankfully, it was already grilling season so we were prepared to be doing even more outdoor cooking. Granted, the smoke in the air is a little challenging, but a protein like chicken legs or pork tenderloin cooks easily and quickly.
For the remainder of August, we're offering a curated 6-pack featuring 2 bottles each of some of our winemaker's favorite red wines. We love this combination of wines that showcase the variety of styles of red wines we are able to craft from our estate vineyards. This weekend, we're trying a new bbq sauce recipe. Though the original recipe from Food and Wine Magazine calls for Pinot Noir, we think the Grapeful Red from the Winemaker's Selection case special would be a great substitute. Tag us on social media @rubyhillwines and let us know what you think!
Red Wine BBQ Chicken
- tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup Ruby Hill 2017 Grapeful Red
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt
- 12 mixed chicken drumsticks and thighs
- In a medium saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the ketchup, wine, sugar, chipotle and mustard. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat, then simmer over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then puree in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat grill to medium-high or, if using the oven, preheat the oven to 425°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and put a baking rack on it. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and put on the rack. Cook, until the skin is lightly browned. Brush the chicken with some of the sauce and roast for 40 minutes longer, turning and basting every 10 minutes, until nicely glazed and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest piece registers 165°. Transfer to a platter and serve.
*Your sauce can be saved in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Ready to grab the Winemaker's Selection? You can shop for pickup or delivery. We are open for curbside pickup 7 days a week from 11:00 am - 5:30 pm.
We're excited to announce our new club member referral program!
We believe that wine is meant to be shared with those you love, so we created a unique offering for you to share more of what you love about being a club member at Ruby Hill Winery.
Starting August 10, 2020, you have the opportunity to earn 500 Bonus Grape Rewards Loyalty Points for each new friend that joins the club. There are no limits on how many people you can refer - just make sure that your friend mentions your name to the wine ambassador when they sign up. Both you and your friend will receive 500 Bonus Grape Rewards Loyalty Points, which will be deposited into your account within 7 days.
*Offer is valid for current club members and we kindly ask that new club members be in good standing and receive at least one club shipment; otherwise, bonus points may be deducted from your account.
If you are not yet a club member, you can learn more about our club options here. Those interested in joining the club can join at the tasting room 7 days a week from 11:00am-5:30pm or may call the winery directly at 925-931-9463.
Enjoy complimentary ground shipping when you order 6 or more bottles.
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