With the arrival of spring, we are eagerly anticipating bud break, the first green stages of the vineyard’s growing season. Before then, however, our vines have been enjoying a well-deserved season of rest and preparation since the harvest last autumn. As we’ve considered these things, we've found wisdom in the pattern of the seasons and invite you to reflect on the lessons of these little vines.
The rest period between harvest and bud break can easily last 5 months, but this time is not truly idle. When temperatures start to cool near the end of the year, the vines enter a period of dormancy. Many plants have a dormant state to protect themselves from damage in cold seasons, but this state is especially important for vines. It is in this season that the vines take a rest from the hard work of their summer production, as well as preparing for bud break and flowering later. Without this phase, the plants will not bud in the spring or attain any level of cold tolerance, which has been especially important this year. This season also gives the grower an opportunity to check the nutritive qualities of the soil to ensure the vines have a good growing environment.
Do you see parallels in your life? Just like the lovely vines here at Rubino Estates, we all need time to rest if we want to flourish. It’s vital that we check our soil, ensuring that we have the support we need to be fruitful and productive. There is no need to be discouraged by dormancy because it is a vital part of every life cycle. Without rest and nourishment of both brain and body, we’re on our way to burnout. Maybe now is a perfect time for a break!
Part way through this phase of dormancy, the vines were pruned. One purpose of pruning is to allow the vine to better distribute its sap, balancing late productivity and boosting the health of the branches. Some styles of pruning actually prevent an amount of fruit from growing. However, this hindrance can lengthen the overall lifespan of the plant, which could otherwise be cut short by overproduction. In the pruning process, the branches are also often tied back into their neat rows which helps distribute the leafy growth, allowing the plant to catch as much sunshine as possible when the season comes. After pruning, the vines may look a bit pitiful, but in reality they are prepared. The overall effect of pruning is to boost high-quality productivity, regulate growth, and encourage healthy ripening.
Perhaps you have felt pruned back lately. Take a moment to turn this around into good news: maybe you can take this chance to make better things than ever, performing at your best, catching sunshine, being productive, and making the best things. It will take some time to get there, but we’re determined to show that pruning is worth it.
We're honored to take part in the legacy of agriculture, and aim to have our eyes open to what cultivation can teach us. It’s the secret to good wine, and it might just be the secret to a good life too. If you want to see for yourself, just taste what Rubino Estates has to offer, and you can let us know! If you need a place to recharge, we invite you to enjoy some wine tasting on our estate, immersed in natural beauty and wisdom.
We want everyone to be able to enjoy the wine world from where they are, including our friends keeping up a vegan lifestyle. We are aware that some wine production methods use trace amounts of products that are derived from animals, raising concern for anyone avoiding such substances. We are delighted to share our wines as vegan friendly and grown, produced, and bottled right here at Rubino Estates. Our wines are pure, delicious, and grown on a small, family-owned estate.
So, our wines are suitable for vegans, but what about wines that aren’t? Winemaking is a complex and artistic science, with ingredients beyond grapes. If animal products are used in winemaking, it is usually in a process called “fining” which helps to clarify wines during their production, removing hazy sediment and beautifying the final product. Here at Rubino Estates, we don’t use this method, and the same is true for our sister winery Ruby Hill. Additionally, our corks and closures do not incorporate any animal-derived substances, such as beeswax or milk protein based adhesives.
Now that you can rest easy knowing that our wines are vegan, what do you enjoy them with? We are delighted to see the wide array of plant-based cheeses and similar delights that compliment the flavors of wine and mirror traditional wine pairings while remaining accessible to those who wish to avoid animal products.
Wine pairing for complete dishes can seem tricky for vegan food, since traditional wine pairing guidance is usually based on which meat is involved, but for vegan cuisine good wine pairing considers the preparation and the seasoning of the dish. Dishes with peppery seasonings like turmeric or peppercorn merge well with our Cabernet Sauvignon, while warming spices like cardamom and anise pair with our Petite Sirah and Ferrario. Choose a medium red blend or a varietal like primitivo for herbs like rosemary or sage. Smooth vegan dishes using ingredients like coconut milk or cashew cream pair nicely with our bright Fume Blanc or our Riserva Chardonnay.
Here are a few recipe and pairing ideas to get you started!
Nourishing Lentil Bolognese pairs with Riserva Sangiovese
Summer Vegetable Vegan Pizza pairs with Primitivo
Creamy Vegan Pasta Pomodoro pairs with Night Owl Barbera
Vegan Shepherd's Pie pairs with Centanni Rosso Red Blend
Crispy Baked Falafel pairs with Fumé Blanc
Cheers to all of our wonderful wine lovers. Bon appetit!
On March 1st, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of our tasting room. Rubino Estates Winery continues the legacy of this historic estate, creating phenomenal wines that pay homage to the past, present, and future.
The Italian flair infused in each of our wines honors the second owner of this Estate, Ernest Ferrario, and the rich history of Italian immigrants in the Livermore Valley. Ferrario originally immigrated to California to work on the railroads in San Rafael. Accustomed to the delicious wines in Italy, Ferrario decided to break into the wine business and purchased the property from John Crellin, the founder of the Estate, in 1921. Ferrario developed the land into a magnificent vineyard and established an admirable reputation as winemaker. We are grateful for Ferrario's chapter in our history, and seek to carry on his heritage and legacy. The original winery building, built in 1887, is shown above.
The Estate changed hands several times after Ferrario was gone, and eventually laid abandoned for many years. A fire razed the building in 1989. The property was later restored under the current owners, and the original building was carefully rebuilt using the original bricks salvaged from the fire. The new winery and facility was leased to a local winemaker who operated the property prior to the establishment of Rubino Estates. The pictures above show the renovations that converted the building to the Rubino Estates tasting room.
The tasting room’s grand opening was March 1st, 2013 and was greeted warmly by the community and the neighboring sister winery, Ruby Hill.
Our signature here at Rubino Estates is our fusion of old world Italian wines and new world styles, giving us the nickname “Cal-Ital.” The early years of Rubino Estates involved delicious experimentation with classic Italian varietals that are difficult to find in California. The picture above shows the 2014 harvest of Trebbiano.
In 2015, we bottled the very first vintage of our Landmark Collection wines, which used the very best of the best, from vine to bottle, and represent the pinnacle of what Cal-Ital wines could be. Our Landmark wines remain among the most popular and critically acclaimed wines produced by Rubino Estates.
In addition to taking great pride in creating phenomenal wines, we are also proud to be family-owned and operated from the very beginning. This "family photo" was taken at our release party in February 2016.
Throughout our history, we have continued to perfect the Cal-Ital craft. In this 2016 photo, our winemaker Jesse Plautz is seen sampling a barrel of Primitivo.
A couple of years later, our luxurious Courtyard Patio was completed, offering guests and members the chance to enjoy the fruit of the estate while looking out at the vines and soaking in the beauty.
Beginning in 2019, we debuted a new label featuring our historic building and iconic palm tree driveway, features that allow Rubino Estates to be a place to retreat and relax.
World events in 2020 left the property empty and quiet for a time, but beauty continued to flourish.
Before too long, we were open again, returning with a newfound appreciation for the peace of the Estate and the joy of seeing our members and guests, welcoming all with smiles from behind our masks.
In the years since, we had the true pleasure of finding a new normal and continuing to do what we have always done: made good wines, and being a place to have a good time with your favorite people. Whether you’re indoors or out, alone or with friends, Rubino Estates welcomes you.
It is an honor to celebrate our 10th anniversary as Rubino Estates atop nearly 140 years of winemaking history on this land. Join us in celebrating the legacy of the estate! The history wall in our tasting room creatures photos and relics from many chapters of our story if you want to see for yourself.
Thank you all for being a part of our story. Here’s to the next 10 and beyond!