All of us here at Ron Rubin Winery would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! As the busy season winds down and the weather gets rainy and cold, I like to reflect on the past year. The 2022 growing season came with some challenges. Starting with an intense heat spike over the week following Labor Day and then a very heavy rainstorm in the middle of September! These two events will come to define the 2022 growing season in the Russian River Valley for pushing grape growers and winemakers to their limits. We had to make fast decisions and harvest the grapes as quickly as possible to capture that perfectly ripe moment before mother nature took it away. We had a record paced harvest and filled every tank available with Pinot Noir after the heat spike. We then shifted gears and worked on bringing in the Chardonnay prior to the rains which would have caused the grapes to mold on the vines. It’s exhilarating to be able to work hand in hand with mother nature, and when my team and I taste through our 2022 wines we get that same sense of exhilaration coming through! I’m incredibly excited about the quality of the wines despite the challenges we encountered.

Ron Rubin Estate VineyardThe Estate Pinot Noir Vineyard on a rainy day here in the Russian River Valley

Winter In the Russian River Valley

For those of us that are lucky enough to call the Russian River Valley home we are able to enjoy the beautiful winter this time of year with the dormant vineyards and landscape. The vines have dropped all their leaves and have gone completely into a state of hibernation. Vitis Vinifera or wine grapes have evolved to do this in the wintertime to escape the freezing nighttime temperatures that could cause damage to their tender vines. Morning temperatures throughout December have been dropping down into the high twenties which is certainty cold enough to create wonderful winter scenes through the valley. The daytime temperatures average in the mid-fifties, a cozy sweater weather feel! Besides the beautiful landscape, another one of my favorite things about this time of year is the Dungeness Crab season that takes place out on our coastline which is less than fifteen miles away. I like to drive to out by Bodega Bay and come home with some delicious fresh crab to enjoy with family, friends, and a bottle of Pam’s Un-Oaked Chardonnay!

Ron Rubin Estate VineyardEd Morris with a bottle of Pam’s Un-Oaked Chardonnay

Looking Ahead

As we enter the New Year, I’m thankful for the great year we had at the winery but one thing on every one’s mind is the lack of rainfall this past year. We’re very close to last year in terms of inches of rain so far in the season and it’s only about half of our historical averages. January and February are our “heavy” rain months, so we are all hoping to make up some ground going into the New Year. Weather permitting, Alvaro will be doing some maintenance in the vineyard this month. He’s replacing about seventy old and damaged trellis stakes. Also, he’ll look to start pruning the vineyard to “reset” the vines going into spring. If it’s too rainy (we hope it will be!) we’ll start pruning in February. No matter what season or time of year it is, we also have plenty to do to grow the best grapes and make the best wine we can!

On behalf of the entire team here at Ron Rubin Winery, we wish you all continued good health!

Be Well,