Update – The Vintage Comes into Focus

We made it through bloom and the grapes are well on their way to into the 2021 growing season. The current drought we are experiencing in Sonoma County is on a lot of grower’s minds. Further north of us we are seeing water sources that once were abundant becoming scarcer with water restrictions being implemented throughout the state. Fortunately for grape growers, grapes are one of the least demanding agricultural crops in terms of water use. Which means that for most of us here in Sonoma County will be able to make it through this year without too much of an impact. This is an ongoing situation and I plan to keep updating as we complete the growing season.
Meanwhile Alvaro Zamora, our Vineyard Manager, has been busy hedging the Estate Vineyard. As the vine shoots grow and reach the top of the trellis wires, they begin to droop over into the vine rows. This hedging technique is important because it helps to balance the leaf surface area and grape clusters on the vines.

As the trellis wire is raised, Chardonnay clusters are exposed

Educational Tastings with Sales Team

I had the distinct pleasure of hosting our sales team at the winery last week. It is great to be able to connect with our sales team and show gratitude for the work they put in, also while educating on various winemaking topics. During their time at Ron Rubin Winery, I was able to lead a few educational tastings – one with a focus on texture in our Chardonnay wines. As a winemaker, Chardonnay is one of my favorite grapes to work with due to its overall versatility. Each winemaker can choose to produce Chardonnay in a variety of ways, using various techniques depending on what style they are looking to achieve. With this variety, there is an opportunity to reach a lot of different people; each with a different taste. At Ron Rubin Winery, we take pride in being able to develop Chardonnays for each unique person’s palate and preference.

From Left to Right: Matthew Boschetti, Assistant Winemaker, Ed Morris, Winemaker, Julia Butcher, Eastern Regional Sales Manager, Bernie Ryan, National Marketing Manager, Ashley Morgan, Western Regional Sales Manager

    The detail that helps create outstanding Chardonnay for me is texture. Simply put, texture refers to the way the wine feels in your mouth. It is the interface between us and the wine. There are three components to pay attention to which contribute to overall texture – alcohol, lees aging, and oak aging.

The 2020 River Road Un-Oaked Chardonnay, 2020 River Road Sur Lie Aged Reserve Un-Oaked Chardonnay and 2019 River Road Double Oaked Chardonnay

  • Alcohol which helps contribute to overall body of a wine.
    • Lower alcohol is lighter in body.
    • Moderate alcohol contributes to medium body.
    • High alcohol contributes to a heavy bodied wine.
  • Lees aging, or aging on the used yeast cells, contributes to texture by adding a richness or a fullness to the wine from the mannoproteins and polysaccharides that they release.
    • Lees aging can be carried out in barrels or in stainless steel tanks.
    • Benefits from lees aging will start to show in as little as three months. Some wines spend the entire aging process “on the lees”.
  • Oak aging contributes to texture by adding oak tannins which will give the wine dimension.
    • Oak wood has natural tannins in it. As a wine ages in an oak barrel the tannins are infused into the wine and become part of its tannin profile
    • Oak tannins provide structure so the other elements can have form. Tannins help counter the sweet fruity flavors to achieve a fully-balanced, complex profile.

We Say Farewell – and Good Luck!

One member of our sales team; Bernie Ryan is retiring after nearly five decades in the wine industry. On behalf of all the team here we would like to thank him for his continued efforts in the marketplace, and for the wonderful time spent with us. Bernie has been instrumental in our overall growth in California. He and I share a similar love of Pinot Noir and it was special for me to be able to work with and learn from him throughout the years he was with us. We wish him all the best in his retirement. As he loved to say “next!”

National Marketing Manager, Bernie Ryan


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

Be Well,