It is almost August, and we are counting down to harvest!
We started to see signs of veraison in the vineyard almost two weeks ago, but as you can see, the black grape clusters are developing more and more color, the green grapes start to take on a translucent quality. What, exactly, is veraison? The official definition of veraison is the "change of color of the grape berries," however, when we talk about veraison, we are also talking about the onset of ripeness in the berries as well.
As the berries change color, their sugar content increases. As the sugar content increases, the grape's natural acidity starts to decrease. Veraison does not happen uniformly across a vineyard. Each variety has its timeline for developing maturity. There are other processes that the viticulture team chooses that can affect veraison, such as leafing. (If you'd like to learn more about leafing, you can head over to our Facebook page to watch a video of our head winemaker, Jesse Plautz, explain leafing in the vineyard.) Sometimes, winemakers will choose to do a "green harvest," where less ripe bunches are removed, and therefore the energy of the vine is focused in the remaining clusters. As you can see, the winemaking and viticulture team has its work cut out for them as they work to monitor the sugars and acids in the grapes to determine the ideal time to harvest!
Let us hope that mother nature continues to offer us favorable weather as we press on toward harvest!
July 25th is National Wine and Cheese Day, and, not that we needed another reason to drink wine and eat cheese, we're excited to make a cheese board at home this weekend.
As you know, Rubino Estates' approach to wines is to honor its Italian heritage while also honoring its California history—that's why we call ourselves a Cal-Ital winery! Due to popular demand, we've brought back the Cal-Ital 6-pack. It's a curated collection of our favorite Italian inspired reds: Sangiovese, Primitivo, and Ferrario. So today, we're highlighting some Italian-inspired cheeses made right here in California that are perfect matches for our Cal-Ital wines!
Belfiore Mozzarella - Belfiore's cheeses are 100% natural with no additives or preservatives. Their Mozzarella's mild flavor and semi-soft texture are delightful— and it's an excellent cheese for pizzas, chicken parmesan, or any other recipe that requires a melty cheese.
Gioia Cheese Co. Burrata - This 3rd generation cheese monger learned the secret to making exception Italian cheese from his Italian father and grandfather. Their burrata is an authentic Italian recipe made right here in California. Burrata's creamy texture is great for spreading on thin slices of bread or atop a salad of fresh tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Bellwether Farms San Andreas - Bellwether Farms is a family-owned cheese factory in the foggy hills of Sonoma coast where they raise sheep and cows to produce their cheese. The San Andreas has floral and grassy with nutty undertones and was inspired by the aged sheep milk cheeses of Tuscany.
Bellwether Farms Pepato - The Pepato is similar to the San Andreas but flavored with specks of peppercorn for an additional earthy and spicy note. Per their suggestions, it's perfect with a California Sangiovese!
Pennyroyal Boont Corners Reserve Tomme - Boont Corners is the Boontling name for where Highways 128 and 253 meet, and it was the site of the original Boonville, California, which was called The Corners. The cheese is aged for 8-12 months and is reminiscent of a well-aged parmesan.
We hope you enjoy celebrating National Wine and Cheese Day this weekend with these Cal-Ital options. Stop by the winery to pick up the Cal-Ital 6-pack or order it in our online shop for delivery—while it lasts!
A few times a year, we can offer you used wine barrels for sale. While they are no longer useful for winemaking, there is still plenty of life left in them—and there's more than just planters! If you're looking for a new project to upgrade your home or yard, we're sharing a few examples for the novice and the expert!
Wine Barrel Crafts for the Weekend
Instagrammer @athomewithjhackie1 keeps it simple by tucking her wine barrel into a corner as a decorative piece for her farmhouse-inspired home. The rustic charm of the barrel could also be highlighted with seasonal decorations!
Create a pub-style table for your kitchen or covered outdoor space. All you need to do is attach your desired tabletop to the barrel. You could add a simple circle of glass, or create a custom piece by crafting a top out of wood and staining the base and top to match.
We love this simple porch decoration! Simply cut your barrel in half and invert it. It's the perfect height nestled between two Adirondack chairs. Finally! A little table to hold your morning coffee!
What a genius idea from @creative_wood_artistry_! This wine barrel cooler requires a little more skill but would be an excellent addition to the backyard. Notice the spout at the bottom that will allow the water to drain from the barrel. He even lined it with metal to help with insulation!
Wondering what you could do with the rings of the barrel? After you finish making your tables, hang on to the metal hoops to create these succulent wreaths. Switch out succulents for faux versions of your favorite flowers! You find a full tutorial from Artzy Creations here!
Feel inspired now? Stop by the tasting room and add some barrels to your order of wine! Barrels are $75 each and weigh about 75 pounds. Our staff is unable to assist with loading, so be sure to bring some help with you. We can't wait to see what you make!
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 Rubino Estates 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) 484-1699 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!
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 a few Rubino Estates-themed puzzles for you to enjoy as you continue to sip at home! Grab a glass of wine, relax, and let your inner-child come out and play!
Tag us in a photo of one of your completed puzzles for a chance to win a $25 e-card for Rubino Estates! You can tag us on Instagram @rubinoestates or on Facebook @rubinoestates. Entries due are by 7/14!
To save the pages, simply right-click and select "save as." You can then print them from your computer. Need a little bit of wine while you chill? We're offering curbside pick-up this week with a special offer for our new Grapeful Rosé. Check out our newsletter for more information.