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Ruby Hill Winery
 
February 9, 2024 | Ruby Hill Winery

True Love: Wine & Cheese

In honor of Valentine’s day, we’re celebrating the soulmates of the fine food world: wine and cheese. There’s no denying that they are an exemplary couple! True love makes each individual better, and that’s exactly what you taste when a wine meets the perfect cheese. This week, we gathered some of our tasting room ambassadors to play matchmaker, sharing their favorite duos of Ruby Hill wine with exceptional cheese.

The superstar of pairings is our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine can go steady with a manchego, asiago, aged cheddar, or a black pepper BellaVitano for a flavor combination that will have you reaching for more!

Lauri recommends pairing a bold asiago with our Reserve Petite Sirah for a deep, rich combination. Rick is partial to a high-quality manchego, which he recommends alongside Petite Sirah or one of our heavier blends, such as Riverbed Red. Manchego will absorb tannin, so don’t be afraid to go bold!

Karen enjoys the combination of Peacock Patch Zin and a black pepper cheese like BellaVitano. Paul is partial to a nice smoky cheddar with our Peacock. Both of these mouthwatering combinations are a match made in heaven. 

For our white wine lovers, Sue recommends complementing your Chardonnay with a mild stilton with apricots, or a baked brie with fig jam. Anything luscious and creamy, like a swiss cheese, will have your tastebuds singing! For Sauvignon Blanc, Ami suggests pairing up with a lemon zest infused chevre. 

For those who like to balance their sweet tooth with something savory and satisfying, Ami and Karen recommend pairing our Solera Dessert wine, the wine of the month, with a blue cheese. For this combination, Lauri suggests a Maytag Blue, but a Stilton will do as well!

All of the cheeses in the Ruby Hill deli are right at home with a wine pairing. The Garlic BellaVitano, for example, has a pizza-esque quality, making it the ideal mate for our Grapeful Red. Our Champagne-infused Yancey’s Fancy cheese is fittingly enjoyable with our Sparkling wine. The Balsamic BellaVitano, often featured on our bus tour menu, makes an agreeable companion for any red wine of your choosing!

We hope you’ll indulge in these pairings. You’ll know you’ve found a lovely wine and cheese match when they are better together when they are apart. Your senses will buzz!

 

If Valentine’s day isn’t your thing, this guide is also perfect for putting together a cheese board for the big game this Sunday—or any occasion, for that matter. Cheers!


We invite you to share your favorite pairings with us: @rubyhillwines

 

Time Posted: Feb 9, 2024 at 5:49 AM Permalink to True Love: Wine & Cheese Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
 
January 26, 2024 | Ruby Hill Winery

A Quick Guide to Describing Wine

        At Ruby Hill, we strive to make wine approachable. Wine lovers of all kinds are welcome here! If you have ever felt overwhelmed by wordy tasting notes or just want to know more about how to describe wine, you’re in the right place. 

        If you don’t sense the subtle nuance of wild strawberry jam, graphite, or petrichor that your neighbor does, you’re no less of a wine lover. Still, if you want to hone your wine description skills, there are a few places to start that will empower you to taste what makes a wine refined and elegant! Wine tasting is all about engaging the senses for optimum enjoyment, so ask yourself a few questions:

What do you see?

Always “taste” with your eyes first! For red wines, note the depth of the hue. Is it a deep purple-black, or a bright brick red? These can give you hints about the wine’s character. Swirling the wine in your glass can also give you a hint about how rich it will feel on the palate, like the difference between whole milk and skim. White wines can range in color from very light to rich amber tones. Rosé wines will differ in color depending on the varietal from which they are made and the style in which they are made. Our Grapeful Rosé, for example, has a coppery pink hue, a picturesque indicator that it is made from our vibrant Sangiovese grapes. 

What do you smell?

Don’t be overwhelmed by trying to describe hyper-specific aromas. The aroma could remind you of flowers, fruit, soil, or herbs, easily described as floral, fruity, earthy, and herbaceous aromas, respectively. A wine’s smells are usually divided into three categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary. For those who are curious, the grape itself influences the primary aromas, the winemaking process dictates secondary aromas, and the aging process provides tertiary aromas. The more you approach wine tasting with curiosity and intentionality, the more common features you will notice. 

What do you taste? 

Just like the aroma, focus on general descriptors that help you unpack what you are tasting. Try to categorize the character of the fruit: Is it red fruit, like a strawberry, cherry or cranberry? Blueberry and plum notes can be described as blue fruit; blackberries, black cherry, and black currant are called dark, purple, and black fruit. Each of these connotes an amount of ripeness as well. Fresh notes like stone fruit, tropical fruit, and citrus fruits are commonly used to describe light wines. 
Common savory notes include leather or cigar box which help capture some of the smoky or dense notes from oak aging. Oak aging can also result in pastry-like flavors, such as pie crust, baking spice, and vanilla. 

What do you feel?

Wine has much more to offer than delightful flavors. When you take a sip, think about how it feels in your mouth. Common descriptors include velvety, suede-like, or even sandpaper. A wine that makes you pucker may be acidic, but a wine that makes your tongue feel dry, like a well-steeped black tea, is tannic. A buttery wine is one that has a full-bodied ripeness, common for oaked Chardonnay. All of these qualities have their place in delicious wines. 

What can you learn from the bottle?

A wine bottle can offer more information to enhance your enjoyment. The bottle will provide the vintage, indicating when the grapes were harvested, and the appellation, indicating where the grapes were grown. Each vintage and region have their own personalities! Of course, the bottle will also indicate if the wine is a single varietal, like Cabernet Sauvignon, or a blend. Every Cabernet will have some character in common with other Cabernets, though the winemaker, region, and vintage all exert influence as well. On the other hand, blends offer a wholly unique experience and often showcase a dynamic balance between diverse varietals.

        It is important to remember that wine descriptions have a level of subjectivity and express the personality of the taster. We all perceive our reference points and the wine’s qualities differently, so the most important thing is to enjoy the process. Remember, it’s always acceptable to drink wines simply because you enjoy them. Life is too short to take too seriously!

If you're looking to "practice" your wine tasting skills, our Mixed Case sales are a great place to start! They offer a delicious assortment of wines at a fantastic price. Click here to shop now!

Time Posted: Jan 26, 2024 at 3:51 AM Permalink to A Quick Guide to Describing Wine Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
 
January 12, 2024 | Ruby Hill Winery

A Mood-Boosting Guide to Mindfulness

This is our recipe for a fun 2024. If you’re already tired of chilly weather or worried about the twists and turns that the year might bring, you’re not alone. As each day goes by, however, we’re working to institute “random acts of wellness”—little doses of mindfulness that can brighten each day. For both the things we can work on and the things that are outside of our control, these simple and realistic actions may help you to feel ready to face each day, week, month, and year. 

Get Outside and Move. 

Even if the sun isn’t shining or the chill is getting to you, it’s worth it, believe us! The physical and psychological benefits of fresh air and movement is overwhelming. You don’t need to have a full workout on your front lawn (although that might be refreshing), just put on a coat, step outside, and breathe. Stretch a little, take a few steps, or go around the block and enjoy that energizing power.

Clean Something.

You don’t have to scrub and polish, just set a timer for 2-5 minutes and straighten something up! Do a little bit of tidying while listening to a favorite song, podcast, or audiobook. Research shows that cleaning is powerfully connected to improved mood and focus, so if you’re looking for a little act of wellness with good reward, this one is worth trying. Bonus points if you grab a friend, family, member, or coworker to join you and do the same.

Express Thankfulness. 

Next time you say “thank you” to someone, try to pause and dwell on your gratitude. Trust us, it’s closely connected with well-being. If you appreciate a sense of meaning or feel like you need a little boost, we recommend taking a moment to write down a couple things for which you’re thankful, or find a reason to write a thank-you note to someone. You don’t even need to send the note, although you may find another boost of joy in doing so!

Change your Scenery.

This is especially important for anyone feeling weighed down by a monotonous routine. Take your work or task to another room, or leave your work behind and spend 5 minutes with a cozy blanket. Try to find a room with natural light. Try putting on some music you enjoy. Sing along, even if it’s not great!

Try Something New.

Trying new things is a great way to make memories, stimulate creativity, and open the door to know yourself better! The gesture does not have to be grand. Try wearing something outside of your usual wardrobe, or find a recipe for something you’ve never cooked. If you usually drink white wine, try reds. If you usually walk for exercise, try biking.  Even if it doesn’t feel as comfortable as what’s familiar to you, it’s always worth trying!

Here at Ruby Hill Winery, walking through the vineyards, riding the bus, trying new varietals, and meeting with friends are some of our favorite mood-boosters. What are some random acts of wellness you want to bring into your 2024?

 

Time Posted: Jan 12, 2024 at 4:00 AM Permalink to A Mood-Boosting Guide to Mindfulness Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
 
December 21, 2023 | Ruby Hill Winery

Your Wine Gifting Guide

For all our last-minute shoppers, we are here for you! With Christmas and gift-giving festivities right around the corner, many of us are working hard to pick the right gifts for all the important people in our lives. For anyone who is struggling to find the right thing for everyone you love, we’ve got a wine gifting guide you can use anytime. Consider this an easy and lighthearted guide to finding the right blend for the right friend!

For a wine lover that loves a touch of drama - Sparkling Wine

Particularly around the holidays, it’s hard to go wrong with a bottle of bubbly. Whether you love it for the “POP,” the bubbles, or the pairing possibilities, this wine is both easy and fun to drink. Tastefully glamorous, this wine is an all-around crowd pleaser.

For your friend who likes to keep things fun and bright - Grapeful Rosé

If they saw the Barbie movie more than twice this year, this wine is the answer. We maintain that Rosé isn’t just for summertime sipping, especially a vivacious one like our Grapeful Rosé. This wine is the answer for the friend who loves pink—or something that pairs with pasta.

For your friend who can’t wait for summer - Sauvignon Blanc 

Sauvignon Blanc combines elegance with cheer. Notes of passionfruit and pineapple make this white wine ideal for anyone who craves sunshine all year long! Our golden Sauvvy B is a tropical vacation in a glass, bringing summer vibes to the table no matter what month it is. 

For your dog-walker, pet sitter, or favorite pet parent - Cuvée Dray

It’s a wine so good you might even call it drool-worthy. In a season of giving, Cuvée Dray is a perfect option. With $10 donated for every bottle sold, plus the amazing quality of this blend and the adorable label, it’s a no-brainer. 

For your easy going relative who appreciates a classic - Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Everyone on your list deserves a wine they can appreciate, and it’s hard to go wrong with a classic like this one. Deep, rich, and warming, this quintessential red wine is beloved by many and pairs deliciously with many winter foods. 

For a loved one who deserves a little extra this year - Jewel Petit Verdot

Our Jewel Collection showcases the best of the best from our estate vineyard, and this Petit Verdot is velvety luxury in a glass. Refined and sumptuous, it’s a wine they won’t soon forget. It’s also ideal for those who like to enjoy their wine now and those who prefer to lay it down!

For that parent or grandparent with a bit of a sweet tooth - Solera

There’s always someone who appreciates dessert more than the rest! Gift them this Port-style dessert wine so they can enjoy something rich, lovely, and sweet. Add another touch of decadence by including a fancy dark chocolate!

For someone who has everything - Peacock Patch Zinfandel

When in doubt, pick a beautiful bottle! Our Peacock Patch Zin is absolutely gorgeous inside and out, with delightfully vibrant flavor. This wine celebrates nature and comes in a colorful spectrum of colors. You can’t go wrong! 

To all our members, guests, and visitors, happy shopping!

Time Posted: Dec 21, 2023 at 3:26 AM Permalink to Your Wine Gifting Guide Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
 
November 17, 2023 | Ruby Hill Winery

Wine Pairings for Pie Lovers

With less than a week to go before Thanksgiving, we are putting the final touches on our menus and getting excited for all of the mouthwatering foods and treasured traditions that this season brings. Here at Ruby Hill winery, we like to keep wine simple, fun, and approachable to all. This year, our wine pairing recommendations for turkey day are geared specifically toward pies and the people who love them. In our opinion, pie is the crown jewel of holiday dinners, so there’s no better foundation on which to build! 

Apple Pie - Cabernet Sauvignon

If you are reaching for the apple pie, you know how to appreciate a true classic. We recommend picking your favorite Cabernet or Cabernet-forward blend for Thanksgiving dinner. Lighter Cabs on the jammier side will offer just the right amount of flavor and gravitas to enhance your meal.

Berry Pie - Jewel Petit Verdot

Whether you’re feasting on blackberry, blueberry, or a juicy mixed berry pie, you like to savor naturally luxurious flavors. Our Jewel Petit Verdot is for you! With pleasant and refined flavors, this underappreciated Bordeaux varietal will step into the spotlight. 

Pumpkin Pie - Peacock Patch Zinfandel 

All of our pumpkin pie lovers know how to treasure the enchanting warmth of baking spices. For you, we suggest Peacock Patch Zinfandel to wow your palate with its vibrant combination of jammy flavors and accents of spice. Plus, the pleasant acidity makes a perfect companion for foods of all kinds. 

Sweet Potato Pie - Jewel Chardonnay

If you’re comforted by the warmth and sweetness of a sweet potato pie, hopefully made from your grandmother’s recipe, enjoy it with a beautifully golden glass of Jewel Chardonnay. Notes of caramel, marshmallow, vanilla, and baking spices come together perfectly. 

Pecan Pie - Reserve Mirage

Toasty, nutty, and caramelly, pecan pie is a rich vintage classic, perfect for pairing with a velvety red blend like our Mirage. The Reserve Mirage offers deep fruit notes and balanced acid, with subtle spice and cocoa notes to entice the senses. 

Chocolate Pie - Petite Sirah

All our chocolate pie lovers are looking for something bold and rich, with all the coziness of their favorite flavors. You can find all this in our Reserve Petite Sirah, which is plush with dark fruit notes accented by vanilla and dark chocolate. 

Lemon Meringue Pie - Sauvignon Blanc

Just because it’s fall doesn’t mean we are ready to leave behind bright flavors of tropical fruit and citrus! Vivid and expressive, our Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect companion to all of the fresh flavors on the Thanksgiving dinner table. 

If you have a sweet tooth but pie isn't your treat of choice, consider a dessert wine such our Solera in Perpetuum, to satisfy that craving for something rich and delicious. 

From our family to yours, happy Thanksgiving from Ruby Hill Winery. We are thankful for each and every one of our guests and members. May your holiday season be filled with wonderful moments with family, delicious food, and of course, great wine. Cheers!

Time Posted: Nov 17, 2023 at 6:12 AM Permalink to Wine Pairings for Pie Lovers Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
 
November 3, 2023 | Ruby Hill Winery

Unpacking Petite Sirah

       This November, we are taking time to celebrate our Wine of the Month: Reserve Petite Sirah. Not only has this delectable wine earned a 93-point score from Wine Enthusiast, it has gained popularity and attention from our beloved members and guests. This deep, rich red is especially perfect this time of year as the weather encourages us to stay inside and get cozy. This vintage overflows with flavors that complement the chill in the air, dense with warm, cozy flavors and a balanced body. If you haven't had a chance to taste our 2018 Reserve Petite Sirah, you can expect to be delighted when you do! In this blog, we are unpacking the tasting notes of this vintage, and exploring what makes Petite Sirah special. 

        It’s important to note that Petite Sirah is anything but “petite” on the palate. This name was earned in the late 1800s due to the size of the grapes themselves in comparison to Syrah grapes. It’s the small size and the relatively thick skin that gives Petite Sirah weather hardiness as well as the deeply rich tannins and flavor. Our 2018 Reserve Petite Sirah showcases this in notes of black pepper on the nose and mulling spices, dark chocolate, and black tea on the palate. These deep flavors are lightened by the fruit elements, reminiscent of French plum and blackberry, and are balanced by the oaky notes of toast, mulling spices, and vanilla. This vintage was aged in 60% new oak, a combination of French, American, and Hungarian, for 21 months before bottling.  

        The complexity and power within each bottle of our Petite Sirah are a product of varietal, terroir, and winemaking finesse. Even though Petite Sirah hails from France, the Californian climate is a happy place for the vines. Furthermore, the wine itself has found more of a foothold in New World markets rather than finding popularity in the Old World. Today, it is the 6th-most planted red varietal in California, a number which, in our opinion, should go up.

        Petite Sirah is known for its density, boldness, and body, and rightly so. Our 2018 Reserve Petite Sirah entices the senses with cozy layers of rich texture and deep flavor, from tea leaves to dark fruit and chocolate topped with vanilla and spice. Don’t miss this underappreciated varietal. You might just find a new favorite!

Shop now!

Time Posted: Nov 3, 2023 at 3:00 AM Permalink to Unpacking Petite Sirah Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
 
October 20, 2023 | Ruby Hill Winery

Autumn Wine Pairings to Try

Last week marked the release of several new vintages into the tasting room with our October Release. With our members’ cellars restocked for the coming season, it’s time to get cooking! These pairings are guaranteed to make your wines shine better than ever. 

2021 Peacock Patch Zinfandel - Fig-Cranberry and Cheese Crostini

A symphony of fun fall flavors comes together in this delicious appetizer. Savor the combination of your favorite cheese and the sweet, tart, jammy character of the fruit topping on these crostinis. These flavors are a perfect companion for the kaleidoscope of flavors in our new vintage of Peacock Patch Zin.

2020 Intesa - Herbed Squash and Mushroom Risotto

Cozy and comforting, this baked risotto incorporates roasted acorn squash, sage, mushrooms, and a touch of truffle oil to make the best autumn risotto you’ve ever enjoyed. Serve this alongside our new 2020 Intesa, a harmonious blend of Barbera and Cabernet. 

2020 Jewel Chardonnay - Butternut Squash & Caramelized Shallot Tart

We love a savory pie, and this recipe offers a gourmet twist that we can’t resist. Safe for our plant-based friends and family, this tart is flavorful, hearty, and elegant. We recommend serving it with a light drizzle of white balsamic glaze and a glass of our Jewel Collection Chardonnay!

2020 Reserve Chardonnay - Roasted Delicata Squash with Honey Butter

This recipe might just make delicata squash your new favorite. Balanced with just the right amount of sweet, salty, and nutty, this dish deserves a spot in regular rotation. The delicate sweetness of the delicata squash, plus the honeyed creaminess of the butter pairs delightfully with our Reserve Chardonnay.

2021 Jewel Petit Verdot - Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shanks

A juicy autumnal take on a decadent dish, enjoy layers of flavor in this recipe. Savory, flavorful, and tender, this lamb pairs perfectly with our Jewel Collection Petit Verdot. This recipe infuses rich flavor at every turn and the meat melts right off the bone. 

2020 Jewel Cabernet Sauvignon - Dark Chocolate Cake with Praline & Blackberries 

With tremendous depth of flavor, this flourless cake is rich, bold, and surprisingly easy to make. Use pecans or cashews in your homemade praline, and pick the ripest blackberries you can find. Everything about this dessert pairs deliciously with the perfectly opulent and velvety profile of our Jewel Cabernet.

These mouthwatering combinations are perfect to cozy up with this month! We hope you enjoy the flavors of the season with all of your favorite Ruby Hill Wines. Cheers!

Time Posted: Oct 20, 2023 at 4:10 AM Permalink to Autumn Wine Pairings to Try Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
 
October 6, 2023 | Ruby Hill Winery

Behind the Scenes: Harvest Mornings

Harvest 2023 has begun in the Ruby Hill Estates vineyard. The weather this year has already impacted our harvest pattern setting 2023 apart from other years. We are excited for the unique characteristics we will see with these wines! Let us take you behind the scenes to the early mornings of our white wine harvest. 

Between the wet winter, chilly spring, and mild summer, our fruit is ripening much later than usual. This blog shows our team processing the first of the harvest, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, since white wines are ready the earliest. Still, these varietals took their time this year, and our red wines won’t be ready for a little while longer.

One of the biggest impacts of the weather this year is huge yields. Even after our process of dropping fruit so the vines can focus on nourishing the remaining clusters, the vines are thick with beautiful clusters. 

This wine press is one of the ways that we introduce technology into the wines we produce. It brings efficiency and consistency without sacrificing control and attention to detail. 

We process our fruit early in the morning, not long after it is harvested. We monitor for quality and keep a keen eye on every step of the process. 

The production and pressing process differs from wine to wine. Still, one of the most rewarding sights is the deluge of juice that will become the wines that we know and love. 

Our hardworking team includes Jesse, our winemaker, and the cellar team: John, Leonard, Dominic, and Anna. They help make the magic happen!

This precious “liquid gold” has a long time to go before it is bottled as our Livermore Valley Chardonnay, but we are proud to oversee each part of this wine’s lifespan, from the vineyard to the bottle and into your glass, all on the same property. 

With the increasing popularity of Sauvignon Blanc, we are thrilled to see the quality and yields of the 2023 crop!

Drop by drop, the story of our wines is written. This 2023 Chardonnay is pure potential. 

Good fruit is the cornerstone of good wine, which is why we pour love and care into every step of the process: so we can pour you a glass of pure goodness.

In the mood to enjoy some delicious wine, grown, produced, and bottled locally? Come visit us at the Ruby Hill Tasting room any day of the week. If you are interested in learning more about the winemaking process and taking a look behind the scenes, consider our Mello Cielo Vineyard Experience tour, or the Portfolio Tasting experience at our sister winery, Rubino Estates!

Time Posted: Oct 6, 2023 at 4:04 AM Permalink to Behind the Scenes: Harvest Mornings Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
 
September 22, 2023 | Ruby Hill Winery

Mouthwatering Pulled Pork & Cuvée Dray

With a hint of fall in the air with some relief from the summer heat, we are ready to revisit some of our favorite cozy dutch oven and slow cooker recipes. More importantly, it’s the perfect time for red wine! This week, we are making scrumptious pulled pork sandwiches. Alongside our ever-popular Cuvée Dray blend, it’s truly a drool-worthy meal! 

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 4 lb. boneless pork butt
  • 3 tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 12 oz. lager
  • 1 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 1/2 c. Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Toasted buns, for serving

Directions

PORK

  1. Preheat oven to 300°. Trim excess fat from pork and cut into large pieces to fit in a large Dutch oven.
  2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, and onion powder; season with black pepper. Rub all over pork. (This can be done the night before.)
  3. In large Dutch oven over medium high heat, heat oil. Working in batches, cook pork until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. (Spices can burn quickly, so don’t let it go for too long!) Pour beer around pork and cover with a lid.
  4. Bake until pork is just beginning to turn tender, about 3 hours. Uncover and continue to bake until pork is very tender and easily pulls apart with a fork, 1 to 2 hours more.
  5. Transfer pork to a cutting board, reserving pan drippings in pot, and let rest until ready to use.

BBQ SAUCE & SANDWICHES

  1. Into pan drippings, whisk ketchup, mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, and Worcestershire until combined. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Shred pork with 2 forks. Add meat to sauce and toss to combine. Serve warm with buns and remaining sauce alongside.

Recipe by Lauren Miyashiro for Delish; Recipe photo by Andrew Bui & Brooke Caison 

We recommend serving this pulled pork on toasted buns and top with coleslaw. Our preferred pairing is Cuvée Dray, with flavors that compliment this dish perfectly, but you can also try a Zinfandel-forward red blend for a tasty combination!  

For anyone who loves the Cuvée Dray or four-legged friends like we do, we will be hosting Dray Day, a pet adoption event in partnership with Valley Humane Society! Come visit us on October 14th from 11am - 2pm at our sister winery, Rubino Estates to meet all of the available canine companions ready for adoption into their fur-ever home. It's time for you to meet your new best friend!

 

Time Posted: Sep 22, 2023 at 6:28 AM Permalink to Mouthwatering Pulled Pork & Cuvée Dray Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
 
September 8, 2023 | Ruby Hill Winery

The Story of Chardonnay

It’s the right time for the luxurious freshness of a golden glass of Chardonnay. The 2020 vintage of our Reserve Chardonnay is an evocative rendition of this beloved classic, offering snappy aromas and flavors of peaches and cream, honey and pastries, crisp apples, and more. Join us as we dive into this varietal’s illustrious story!

       For the last decade, Chardonnay has been the leading varietal in the United States. This little golden grape has a long story. Though the geographical origins are disputed, it likely finds its roots in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France. Genetic studies have identified Chardonnay as a cross between Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc. These “parents” are very different from each other, which offers what plant geneticists refer to as “hybrid vigor.” Essentially, Chardonnay is a resilient and adaptable varietal that lends itself well to further propagation. Today, Chardonnay is growing in at least 41 countries around the world in dramatically diverse climates and conditions. 

        As of 2022, there are nearly 90,000 acres of Chardonnay planted here in California, about a fifth of the total acreage of Chardonnay on earth. We have documentation of Chardonnay being cultivated in California all the way back to the 1800s, but it was not the wildly successful and popular varietal that it is now. During prohibition, many of the chardonnay vineyards in California were uprooted. The exception? Some plantings in the Santa Cruz mountains and some right here in the Livermore Valley! The very first successful commercial production of California Chardonnay was from plantings in the Livermore Valley. We are honored to continue the legacy of delicious Chardonnays that capture the essence of California Sunshine.

        Oak is the most common companion for Chardonnay, offering rich notes of toast, vanilla, butter, and cream and the classic unctuous mouthfeel of an oaked Chardonnay. Some Chardonnays are produced without oak, using stainless steel barrels, to emphasize the fresh and aromatic features of a Chardonnay. Our Reserve Collection Chardonnay is made in a bold, flavorful style using a mix of French, American, and Hungarian oak. Our featured vintage, 2020, was aged for 17 months in a combination of 40% French, 34% Hungarian, and 26% American oak (40% new).

        While many examples of Chardonnay can benefit from a few years of bottle aging, especially if they have high acidity, most Chardonnays are meant to be consumed in their youth, and enjoyed chilled. This vintage is very satisfying, offering a buttery-soft medium body and perfectly balanced acidity. We like to pair our Reserve Chardonnay with dishes like rich flaky fish, grilled veal chops with mushrooms, late summer vegetables and creamy mustard tarragon chicken. 

Our 2020 Reserve Chardonnay is the Wine of the Month for September! Shop now.

 

Time Posted: Sep 8, 2023 at 3:09 AM Permalink to The Story of Chardonnay Permalink

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