Happy New Year!
All of us here at Ron Rubin Winery would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! This is a time of renewal for us, a chance to recharge and get ready for 2022 and what is ahead. The winery had a wonderful year in 2021. We are thankful for all the hard work that the team has put in and we will carry the momentum into the new year. As I think about the year to come, it’s also the time to contemplate the past year. One major aspect that remained consistent through the year was the on-going drought in California. 2021 was the driest year ever recorded going back to 1895. The rainy season which spans July 1st, 2020, to June 30th, 2021, saw a measly 13.4 inches of rain. This posed challenges to grape growers on many fronts. The dry soil conditions led to uneven fruit set which can carry through the vintage and lead to uneven ripening. Uneven ripeness in fruit is detrimental to quality. These conditions presented growers with a choice, either drop fruit, which reduces yield but maintains quality or leave the fruit to maintain yield but reduce overall fruit quality. We chose the former. For the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, we saw yields down from average, but the quality of the 2021 vintage is fantastic! Thankfully heading into the new year, Sonoma County has received more rain to date than all of last year’s rain season. The rains started in October and since then there has been a few substantial storms come through to help ease the concerns of the drought going into the new year. I hope to see more rain as we arrive at the historical “rainy” months of January and February.
The Estate Vineyard under rain clouds
It’s All About the People
During the first week of December, the winery team hosted our sales staff at the winery for a two-day educational experience. This was an opportunity to catch-up and discuss various topics from winemaking to sales. Updates were provided from each of our remote sales team members on their designated markets. Julia Butcher, Eastern Regional Sales Manager based in Florida provided updates for Florida and East Coast markets. Ashley Morgan, Western Regional Sales Manager based in Southern California, provided updates on California, Nevada and Arizona. And lastly, the newest member of the team, Ben Price, Central Regional Sales Manager based in Texas, provided updates on primarily the Texas market.
The Ron Rubin Winery Team participating in a team building exercise
It was a great two days filled with team building exercises, educational wine tasting and strategy discussion as we prepare for the new year.
Onward and Upward
The winery has seen many exciting changes over the last year. It excites me to officially announce that William Thiersch, Operations Enologist recently accepted his new role as Assistant Winemaker! Will joined Ron Rubin Winery five years ago as General Winery Worker. Through his childhood, he watched his father work as Vice President of Modesto Operations for E. & J. Gallo Winery in Modesto, California for nearly a decade. Will was enamored by his father’s dedication to wine and knew he wanted to eventually follow in his footsteps but create his own path towards Winemaker. Will obtained his BS in Business with a concentration in Wine Business Strategies from Sonoma State University in 2015. In December 2021, he earned his Winemaking Certificate from the University of California Davis Winemaking Certificate Program. It brings me immense joy to see Will step into his new role!
William Thiersch, Assistant Winemaker
I’d also like to also take this opportunity to introduce our new Cellar Master, Matthew Hunter. Matt comes to us with extensive wine cellar experience. He has fifteen harvests under his belt and has worked all around the world including South America and New Zealand. He grew up in Sonoma County and his stepfather is a long time Winemaker in the Russian River Valley. His new responsibilities include overseeing and executing our cellar work. The importance of this role cannot be understated. His experience will have a direct impact on wine quality. I’m very excited to have added Matt to our winemaking team. The pieces are in place for us to continue to grow and advance in the new year.
Matthew Hunter, Cellar Master
I am immensely grateful for this last year and for what the winery has achieved – on December 20th, Ron Rubin Winery celebrated it’s 10-year anniversary! A tremendous achievement as we look onto 2022, and many years thereafter.
On behalf of the entire team here at Ron Rubin Winery, we wish you all continued good health!