Last week, we received the great news that our 2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah took home the award for Best in Show at Tri-Valley Conservancy's annual Livermore UNCORKED wine competition! UNCORKED is a local wine competition showcasing wines made from grapes grown in the Livermore Valley AVA. There were a total of 123 entries, with 69 of those entries making it to the final round where they were judged blindly by Jim Gordon of Wine Enthusiast, Laura Ness of Spirited and Wine Industry Advisor, and Fred Swan of NorCal Wines.
It seems fitting that a Petite Sirah should be the wine that won Best of Show as Petite Sirah has a reputation for producing wines of distinction in the Livermore Valley. John Concannon bottled the first bottle of Petite Sirah in the Livermore Valley in 1963. The variety is the child of the grapes Peloursin and Syrah and is loved for its inky color, full-body, and flavors of blueberry, chocolate, plums, and black pepper.
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.
Heading into 2016, Livermore experienced more rain than usual in the offseason. It was a warm year marked by cool nights, which is fairly ideal growing conditions. Though there were more hot days than we would have liked, the cooler temperatures at night (diurnal shift) helped the grapes to ripen and maintain flavor while also maintaining acid.
Despite the hot weather, we were able to keep the Petite Sirah sugar levels in a good place relative to the ripeness, so we picked it at nearly an ideal time. The harvest dates were relatively normal timing, ranging from late September to early October. 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! Talk about a grand slam! Please join us in celebrating with our outstanding winemaker, Jesse Plautz, for his great work in helping Ruby Hill live up to being the Jewel of Livermore Valley!
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!
Like most businesses, we have had our ups and downs, but nothing compares to what we have all experienced this year. We have been overwhelmed by the support and well wishes we have received from you, whether in person at our curbside pickups, via phone and email, or through your online orders. We are so grateful for our club members and loyal Ruby Hill customers!
We are pleased to announce that we can welcome you back to the tasting room!
To ensure that you have a fun and safe time at our winery, we have implemented a few changes to our tasting experiences.
Walk-ins are welcome, Monday through Thursday.
Reservations are required Friday through Sunday. We have three different time slots available for your weekend reservations: 11:00am, 1:30pm, and 3:30pm. You can call the winery at (925) 931-9463 or email us at email@example.com to secure your reservations.
We have three pre-selected flights for you to choose from that showcase our award-winning wines.
We kindly ask that you not bring in outside food. Our deli is fully stocked with wine, cheese, and gourmet crackers that pair perfectly with our wines!
For your safety and ours, mask or face coverings are required when not seated for your tasting.
We kindly ask that you limit your party size to no more than 6 guests.
Wine is about bringing people together to create memories. We are grateful to be able to provide you the great wine and superior service we are known for here in the Livermore Valley. We can't wait to see you!
It's getting hotter, and we are stocking the fridge with white wines for relaxing by the pool. What perfect timing for July's Wine of the Month, the Ruby Hill 2017 Grapeful White!
Our 2017 Grapeful White is a blend of Trebbiano and Sauvignon Blanc. Trebbiano is an Italian wine grape known for its fresh peach and citrus flavors and elevated acidity. Our Sauvignon Blanc is also high in acid with aromas that lean toward ripe and tropical fruits. Each wine was fermented in stainless steel, then aged in neutral oak barrels for nine months before blending. Together, they make a refreshingly crisp white wine with hints of exotic fruit and overtones of lime blossoms. It's a perfect summer wine for fish dishes, pasta made with white sauce, or a summer salad like the Honey Lime Fruit Salad from Cafe Delights.
For the month of July, enjoy the 2017 Ruby Hill Grapeful White for just $17 a bottle. You can shop today for curbside pick-up or have it delivered straight to your home. Put a few bottles on the table for your Independence Day celebrations along with this yummy and easy fruit salad!
Honey Lime Fruit Salad
- 1 pound (500 g) strawberries washed, hulled and sliced
- 3 kiwi fruits peeled and sliced into half moons
- 2 mangoes peeled and diced
- 10 ounces (300 g) blueberries washed
- 1 cup green grapes halved
- 9 ounce (250 g) can pineapple chunks or pieces (or 1/2 of a fresh pineapple, peeled and diced)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon pineapple juice (from the canned pineapple, if using)
- Place prepared washed and sliced or diced fruits in a large salad bowl.
- Using a measuring jug, combine the honey, lime juice and pineapple juice. Pour the syrup through the fruit and mix well. Mix the juices accumulated at the bottom of the bowl once again before serving, if not serving immediately.
If you'd like to continue to sip safely at home, we're offering complimentary ground shipping when you purchase 6 or more bottles. Shop today and have your favorite Ruby Hill Wines delivered straight to your door.
When was the last time you spent time really diving into the treasures of the Livermore Valley? It can be easy to overlook what is immediately around us, but when we take time to be intentional about exploring our home towns, we can discover, or rediscover so many lovely things. Better yet, we have the opportunity to support our local community!
The Livermore Valley is home to world-class wineries and wines, fantastic restaurants, beautiful parks and trails, and great shopping. We hope this sample one-day itinerary helps you plan your next staycation in the valley!
Arrive at your beautiful room at the Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort and Spa. Settle in for the evening with bespoke accommodations featuring views of historic Livermore Valley vineyards.
Wake up from a good night's sleep and enjoy the complimentary breakfast offered by the Purple Orchid, or take delight in a lovely cup of coffee and a down-home meal at Sideboard Danville. Give the Breakfast Mac a try!
Take in a quick, yet challenging, round of golf at Callippe Reserve Golf Course or head back to the Purple Orchid for a relaxing spa treatment before your wine tasting at Ruby Hill Winery. Our beautiful estate is nestled among the vines just off Highway 84 where our knowledgeable staff will provide an enjoyable wine tasting of our estate wines.
Stroll through downtown Livermore and take in all the beautiful murals that were recently painted as a public art project.
(image courtesy of Livermore Patch)
End your evening with a delicious meal and a bottle of wine. Visit Tri-Valley has a comprehensive list of restaurants to suit your tastes and many of them have reasonable corkage fees so that you can enjoy your bottle of Ruby Hill wine with your dinner. Branch out and try something new!
We've barely touched the surface of all there is to do in Livermore Valley. We're fortunate to call this beautiful place home. We hope to see you soon!
Sunday is Father's Day and we are looking forward to spending a little bit of time with our dads to celebrate them. If you want to give Dad a break from manning the grill, we are sharing a wonderfully simple recipe of Flat Iron Steak with a Ruby Hill Reserve Cabernet Sauce. Did you think you could only drink wine with steak? We are firm believers that when you cook with wine, you should only use wine that you'd drink. That's why we're using our 2016 Ruby Hill Cabernet Sauvignon. This 2016 Reserve Cabernet is a bold and rich representation of the old Bordeaux classic. The fruit was carefully farmed and vinified to produce a rich, well balanced, and flavorful wine. It has flavors and aromas of boysenberries, dark cherry, and vanilla with hints of chocolate, toasted oak, and black pepper. It's the perfect wine for a well-seasoned steak like this one.
We hope you enjoy celebrating all the father figures who support and champion us!
- 1 (1 1/2-pound) flat iron steak
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon (recommended: 2016 Ruby Hill Reserve Cabernet)
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon grill seasoning
- 1 shallot, diced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Take the steak out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before you are ready to cook it so that it can come to room temperature. This will help it cook more evenly.
- In a small pot over high heat, add the broth and wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until it is very hot. Season the steak with the grill seasoning and put it in the skillet. Cook about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove it from the pan, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 5 minutes while you finish the sauce.
- Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium and add the shallots. Cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the reduced broth and wine mixture and cook until thickened, about for about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter and cook until the butter is melted and incorporated into the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Slice the steak against the grain into thin slices, arrange them on a serving platter and serve with the sauce on the side or poured over top.
Need a break from cooking? Support our local Tri-valley restaurants as they begin to welcome back customers! Not close enough to see Dad this week? Send him a gift. Our Ruby Red Pack is a perfect gift for the dad that loves to grill.
We know you love the Grapeful Rosé as much as we do. Before COVID-19, we couldn't wait to share it with you on the patio or in the new Wine Garden, sipping on the new rosé while nibbling on your favorite cheese and crackers. Alas, we're continuing to happy hour at home, making cheese and charcuterie boards to enjoy on the back patio while we pretend we're back at our favorite wineries.
The warm weather this weekend is a perfect excuse to celebrate National Rosé Day with a bottle of Grapeful Rosé. This beautiful rosé wine is a blend of Nebbiolo, and Petit Verdot gently pressed to attain a delicate light pink color. The nose reveals fresh rose petals and floral notes, while on the palate, peach, plum, and apricot flavors offer a lingering finish. Here are a few of our favorite local cheeses for you to enjoy alongside your glass of rosé.
Local Cheeses to Enjoy with Grapeful Rosé
Mt. Tam by Cowgirl Creamery — You've probably seen this cheese in your local grocery store. Named after the Northern California landmark, Mt. Tamalpais, this cheese is made from Straus Family Dairy's fresh organic milk.
Humboldt Fog by Cypress Grove — This soft-ripened cheese is made from buttermilk and fresh cream, and has floral and herbaceous notes.
Petite Brie by Marin French Cheese — This one is also easy to spot in the grocery store. It's creamy, tangy, and fresh; a perfect cheese for many styles of wine.
Boont Corners by Pennyroyal Farm — A firm cheese for those who love cheddar, the Boont Corners is dry, tangy, and sharp.
Apricot-Chili Chevre by Nicolau Farm — A little sweet with very mild spice, this fluffy goat cheese has lovely hints of citrus.
Let us know which ones you pair with your Grapeful Rosé by tagging us @rubyhillwines! Happy National Rosé Day!
Okay, okay. It sounds a little strange. Donuts and wine? Is it possible to find a tasty combination? We believe that with wine, many things are possible. To celebrate National Donut Day, we're sharing a few of our favorite ideas for pairing your wine with donuts for an after-dinner treat. Let us know which one you try when you stop by for curbside pick-up this weekend or tag us @rubyhillwines on Instagram.
National Donut Day Wine Pairings
Glazed Donut with Ruby Hill 2016 Reserve Chardonnay - We love the simplicity of a glazed donut and think that the notes of vanilla and honeycomb in the Reserve Chardonnay pair perfectly with the delicate vanilla flavors of the glaze.
Jelly Donut with Ruby Hill 2019 Grapeful Rosé - The Grapeful Rosé is excellent with a jelly donut; not only do the fruit flavors in the wine play off the jammy flavors, but the acidity in the rosé helps balance out the sweetness.
Chocolate Cake Donut with Ruby Hill Solera Dessert Wine - The rich mouthfeel of the Solera dessert wine offers flavors of blackberry jam, dried plum, and cocoa. The sweetness of this wine marries well with the sweetness of the chocolate.
Sour Cream Donut with Ruby Hill Sparkling Wine - The lemon aromas in the sparkling wine complement the tanginess of the donut while the Sparkling Wine's bubbles help cut through its richness. (But really, add the sparkling wine to some orange juice, and you're good to go with almost any flavor donut!)
photo by Beatrice Mazzarello
You're probably like most wine lovers out there with rows of empty wine bottles lined up on the counter from all of your virtual tastings and happy hours at home. Personally, our recycling can is full of glass, and we thought, "why not rescue some of these and see what we can do with them?" After all, it's important to us that we use sustainable methods in the vineyards; therefore, how else can we practice sustainability at home? Well, re-using and repurposing everyday items around the house is one way. This week, we thought we'd share a few links to some fun wine bottle crafts you can do in a weekend. Out of wine? No worries, we've got you covered. Tag us @rubyhillwines while you craft. We can't wait to see what you create!
Summertime is here and we love spending time outdoors. But bugs? Not so much. Try turning some of your bottles into citronella candles.
Add a little sparkle to your yard or tabletops! Twinkle lights can add so much ambiance during those twilight hours.
What a genius idea for those weekends away? This requires no skill or tools. Simply fill the bottle with water and insert into the pots on your patio or garden for this self-watering trick.
Summer is one of our favorite seasons in California. The farmer's markets are back and the fruit is coming in fresh and ripe. Though many people will think of summer as the season for white and rosé wine, there are also many ways to pair red wine in these warmer months. Light-bodied red wines and red wines that contain a good amount of acidity pair well with some of the summers foods you love best, from fresh salads to grilled meats. Our 2017 Ruby Hill Vintner's Sangiovese is a perfect example of a red wine that you can drink year-round due to its versatility. This 2017 Sangiovese from the Livermore Valley was gently fermented and aged in neutral oak for 18 months prior to bottling. After hand-picking, the fruit was gently vinified to produce a lighter, varietally characteristic
Sangiovese that is reminiscent of an old-world Chianti.
Below is a recipe for a lovely summer pasta dish featuring roasted tomatoes and garlic. This easy meal has hardly any hands-on time; your fresh summer tomatoes and a few heads of garlic go into the oven and are added to the pasta. All you need is a glass of Sangiovese and you are all set. We hope you enjoy!
- 4 large red tomatoes, halved
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 heads garlic, skin on and tops cut off
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 pound pasta, boiled and drained
- olive oil
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn
- coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place tomatoes, cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle well with salt and pepper. Roast until tomatoes are browned and wrinkled about 30 minutes.
- Roast the garlic heads at the same time! Place garlic, cut side up on a large piece of parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap parchment and tie with kitchen twine. Place in a small round pan and roast with the tomatoes, about 30 minutes or until completely browned and softened.
- Boil the pasta while the tomatoes and garlic roast.
- Assembling the pasta is simple. Toss cooked pasta with tomatoes, soft garlic pressed from the head, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Top with fresh basil and cheese. Enjoy!
We miss seeing all of you in the tasting room and are hoping that we will be able to welcome you back soon. In the meantime, we are sharing another Ruby Hill-inspired word puzzle for you to enjoy as you continue to shelter in place. This one was created by one of our assistant managers, Jeanne Schulz. Jeanne is a newer member of our staff, but a long-time lover of Ruby Hill Wines. Next time you are able to come in and visit, be sure to say "hi" to her!
Right-click on the image below to download and print your puzzle, and then grab a glass of your favorite Ruby Hill wine to sip while you search!
Enjoy complimentary ground shipping when you order 6 or more bottles.
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