In honor of Earth day, we felt it appropriate to put our new vines in the spotlight. After the 2021 harvest, we removed about 4 acres of vines along the entrance to the estate. This block of Petite Sirah vines was due for retirement, allowing us an important chance to replant the block. Our winemaker carefully selected the clones that would be used in the new planting. In the wine world, vines within a specific varietal can be selected based on certain genetic traits, including resistance to disease or enhanced fruit quality. We chose vigorous and luxurious vines containing incredible genetic potential. Now, this block boasts brand new Zinfandel and Petite Sirah vines which will one day be capable of producing grapes worthy of our Landmark Collection’s quality and esteem. In the meantime, we have the pleasure of seeing the infant vines grow up!
In the Fall of 2021, these vines were ready to retire.
In January of 2022, the soil was tilled and enriched with nutrients after the old vines were removed.
By March, the trellis system was set up and the vines planted. In the foreground of this photo, experienced Cabernet Sauvignon vines look on in anticipation.
Now in April 2022, we have the honor of seeing the first sprouts and leaves from the fledgling vines. We are very excited for what the future will hold!
Happy Earth Day!
The springtime sunshine is coming out, and we’re in the mood for something especially refreshing. If you want to try something new and delicious, then it’s time for a glass or two of Rosé Sangria! Here at Rubino Estates, we offer two different Rosé wines from two famous Italian varietals: Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. Our Salute Rosé features the coppery pink beauty of Sangiovese and our Nebbiolo Rosé shines with fragrance and fruitiness. While delicious on their own, both make for show-stopping Rosé Sangria. Depending on your favorite flavors, we have three recipes for you! Try these:
Vibrant Strawberry & Stone Fruit
- 3 nectarines or peaches, stoned and sliced
- 200g strawberries, sliced
- 1 bottle Rosé
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 50ml orange liqueur (we used Grand Marnier)
- 300ml sparkling water
- Small handful mint sprig
~ Recipe from BBC Good Food ~
Fresh Citrus Spree
- 1 bottle Rosé
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups club soda (grapefruit Le Croix)
- 1 cup triple sec
- 1 cup gin
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 grapefruit, juiced
- 3 cups various sliced citrus of your choice
~ Recipe from The Modern Proper ~
Bourbon & Berry
- 1 bottle Rosé
- 1 cup pink grapefruit juice
- 3/4 cup bourbon
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup Chambord (raspberry liqueur)
- 2 cups watermelon balls
- 1 1/2 cups fresh sliced strawberries
- 6 ounces fresh raspberries
~ Recipe from A Spicy Perspective ~
Once you pick the recipe you love, combine all of the ingredients except the bubbly water, if used, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. When you serve it, make sure to garnish with your favorite fruit and a sugar-rimmed glass if you’re feeling fancy!
For an unbeatable deal (and lots of Rosé for sipping or to make into Sangria)
check out our Sunset Case, available for only $99 for a limited time!
This Tuesday, April 12th, is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich day. At Rubino Estates, we like to think that there’s something worth celebrating every day of the year. Of course, this holiday is one we are very excited to celebrate, since it sounds like the perfect excuse to test out some of the best cheese and wine pairings in all the creamy toasty beauty of a grilled cheese sandwich. Below, we have listed our favorite elegant grilled cheese alongside delicious wine pairings, because grilled cheese can be fancy too! After all, a bottle of wine turns any evening into an occasion.
For this lightly oaked Sauvignon blanc, we recommend layering a nutty havarti over soft focaccia. Gently heat to perfection with a cast-iron skillet with a flavorful layer of herb butter to create the perfect toasted crust.
One reason we love our Wine of the Month is that it is difficult to go wrong with cheese and this wine! Right now, we’re in love with a classy grilled cheese of fontina melted into challah bread with thinly sliced d’anjou pears and shredded arugula.
This rare Rosé wine, featured in our Sunset Case, is exactly the dose of intrigue you need in your wine cellar. Pour a glass alongside grilled ciabatta bread with a generous layer of fig jam and buttery baked brie, and you’ll feel your taste buds sing!
Just like Nebbiolo, this wine is an elusive Italian classic that deserves all the attention. We’re pairing this sexy wine with a gorgeous grilled cheese, of course! Manchego and fuji apple, melted into rustic bread, with just a drizzle of wildflower honey.
Cabernet is flavor’s best friend, and grilled cheese is no exception. We’re adding a few generous slices of smoked ham along with mature cheddar between two slices of homemade artisan sourdough.
The flavors of the Old World shine in this Estate-grown Barbera and our favorite combinations of flavor. Try your hand at homemade roasted tomato spread with capers, layered with asiago and fontina, grilled onto thick-cut bread.
Play with bold flavors to create the perfect companion for our Petite Sirah. We enjoy a grilled cheese with red pesto (made with sundried tomatoes) and an ample helping of swiss cheese, all melted into traditional rye bread.
For this impeccable and bright Sangiovese, we will cook with only the best. This wine is perfect for a splurge on Tuscan Pecorino, fire-roasted red peppers, and a drizzle of truffle oil. A few fine ribbons of fresh basil make this sandwich complete!
This especially exquisite blend brings together Barbera, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, and a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon. We chose a crusty baguette, added a delicate layer of stone-ground mustard, and topped it with aged gouda and bacon for a melted masterpiece.
No matter what wine you love, there’s an elevated grilled cheese waiting for it. Which one will you make?
Chardonnay is a ubiquitous classic for all white-wine lovers, and we are here to share the love! Whether you love this golden beauty or haven't yet been convinced, there's no time like the present to pop open a bottle and savor a vibrant sip! Our estate's Chardonnay fruit is a delicious example of what California has to offer. We are proud to declare our 2017 Riserva Collection Chardonnay is the Wine of the Month for April. To aid in enjoyment, we've put together a quick pairing guide so you can become a pairing pro for this luscious California-grown delight.
Dried Apple Slices
Aged Dry Salami
Pan Fried Crab Cakes
Light Tofu Stir-Fry
Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée
Fresh Apricot Tart
Lemon Zest Shortbread Cookies
Baked Bosc Pears
If you have ever wanted to taste a sip of pure California Sunshine, then we are delighted to share our 2017 Riserva Chardonnay. Bursting with bright aromas and luscious flavors, this wine is perfect for welcoming springtime. Enchant your nose with vanilla, clove and lemon curd laced with essences of honeysuckle and wildflowers. Flavors include honeyed apricot, delicate orange blossom, and toasted s’mores! Each sip is smooth, with pleasant acidity alongside a rich body, and a deliciously lingering finish. Enjoy it while it's only $25 per bottle!
We are joining other Californian wineries in celebrating Women in Wine Day! This initiative, celebrated annually on March 25th, has a mission “to support women in wine, while also providing a sense of empowerment and resources for those seeking to enter the business.” In the Rubino Estates Tasting room, we are proud to have female managerial staff. In this post, we want to highlight the incredible head managers of our Tasting Room: Amy, Patti, Lisa, and Susan.
Amy has been a part of the Rubino Estates staff since opening day nearly ten years ago. She’s happy to pour you a glass of Landmark Barbera, her favorite, and show you the beauty of this area of the Livermore Valley. One of her favorite parts of being part of the team is the relationships that have been built up overtime with our longtime members and customers. She says that when people come to our tasting room, she hopes they’ll be refreshed by our Estate’s stellar natural beauty and the hospitality of a family-owned and operated winery.
Patti’s time in our family began more than a decade, when she worked in the tasting room of our sister winery, Ruby Hill. Like Amy, she joined the Rubino Estates Tasting Room team on day one. Her favorite Rubino Estates wine is the gorgeous Riserva Petite Sirah, though she also enjoys Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs—especially from the Santa Lucia Highlands. She treasures the relationships here at the tasting room, both with Wine Club members and with members of the staff. As she puts it, “Working at Rubino is not a job, it’s a pleasure!”
Lisa has been here at Rubino for 4 years, and brings a smile with her every day. Her favorite Rubino Estates wine was the elusive 2018 Riserva Malbec, a limited edition wine that sold out quickly. She says her favorite part of working here isn’t the wines, though--it’s the people. She loves that there are always new people to meet and new things to learn while working in the Tasting Room. One piece of wine advice she likes to share is to not leave wine bottles open too long. If you aren’t finishing it, make sure you seal it and enjoy it tomorrow!
Susan joined the Rubino Estates staff one year ago, and is the newest member of the Tasting Room’s managerial team. She already feels like an old friend to many of us! She says she can’t choose a favorite wine--it’s whatever is in her glass! Working at Rubino Estates lets her enjoy wines in her favorite styles from her favorite regions, like the Super Tuscans from central Italy. She says that working in the Rubino Estates tasting room means serving good wines to good people. What more could you ask for?
These incredible women help make Rubino Estates the place to be. This #womeninwineday make it your goal to thank your favorite hard working women!
Can you predict the future? Perhaps you would like to taste it!
In the wine world, you might just have a chance to do both.
What are Wine Futures?
Quite simply, wine futures are wines that have been made but have not yet been bottled. Wines that are blends of several varietals, like our Club-exclusive wines, will already be combined and aging together. The oak barrel or cask that they are stored in has not given its final touches, so there is an element of youth to these wines In fact, in Bordeaux, wine futures are referred to as “en primeur” which translates to “in youth.” Wines sold en primeur may be bottled months or years after tasting from the barrel. Once bottled, the wines will be available to those who purchased.
How do you get the wine out of the barrel?
Oxidation caused by extended contact with air is the enemy of wine, so it is important to keep barrels sealed off. Every barrel is equipped with a single slat, called a stave, which has a hole for access. Generally, these holes are stopped up with a rubber plug called a “bung” to protect the wine inside from the air. To sample the futures inside the barrels, we use a device called a “wine thief,” a tubular pipette designed to perfectly “steal” tastes of wine.
What is different about a wine future and how is the wine going to change?
One of the reasons for extended barrel aging is to allow oak character to balance the fruit and to give the natural tannins time to integrate. Tasting wine futures allows you to appreciate the character of the fruit itself, which lays the foundation for the eventual wine’s overall profile. Tasting futures is a great way to put your palate to the test and gain intimate insight into the process of your favorite wines. If you like it in the barrel, imagine it in the bottle! Futures allow you to preview and buy what you’ll really love.
Why buy a future wine?
If you want to secure access to limited edition wines that sell out fast, this is your chance! Some vintages are gone before you know it, and buying futures assures the chance to have these wines won’t pass you by. Even more, these wines are sold at their lowest prices ever. When you purchase a future, you are purchasing far below retail value. It’s an investment! Futures also offer the unique chance to buy something now that will mature and come to fruition later, making it perfect for milestone celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, and retirement.
Who can buy wine futures?
In classic Bordeaux futures tastings, these exclusive pre-sales are open to a select few importers, journalists, retailers, and critics. Here at Rubino Estates, we are opening our barrels for one night only to our beloved Club Members! We want to share our futures with wine lovers who know that the best things in life are worth waiting for. Our Futures Night will be hosted Saturday, April 23rd, and will feature some of the best wine futures from all over our Estate. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are on sale now!
Not a wine club member but you’d like to participate in Futures Night? You can join today!
Did you know that March 28th is Black Forest Cake Day? This sounds like the kind of day we’d like to celebrate! Traditionally, Black Forest cake features chocolate, cherries, whipped cream, and a special cherry brandy known as Kirschwasser. To make this cake properly requires the freshest, highest-quality ingredients you can source, as well as a fair amount of time to make it all from scratch. This week, we’re putting in some practice while stripping down the classic recipe to make cupcakes. Of course, we can’t resist putting a little Rubino Estates spin on the recipe with a few splashes of red wine! We recommend Primitivo, with its seductive bouquet of beautiful fruit flavors.
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup red wine
- 2 cups cherries, fresh or frozen
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon Kirsch, or other cherry liquor
Stabilized Pink Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons flavorless powdered gelatin
- 2 tablespoons red wine
- In a large pot over medium heat, combine the cherries, sugar, and cornstarch. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cherries begin to break down and the filling starts to simmer and thicken, about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and Kirsch. Allow to cool completely before filling the cupcakes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup pan with cupcake liners.
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla together until combined.
- Stir in about half of the flour mixture. Then stir in the milk, wine, and the remaining flour mixture and mix until fully combined.
- Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner, until about halfway full.
- Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Stabilized Whipped Cream
- Add the wine to a bowl and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin on top. Allow to sit for a few minutes.
- Transfer the gelatin mixture to the microwave and microwave for 5-10 seconds, until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Stir the mixture, then set aside to cool slightly.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, combine the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Whip the mixture until it starts to thicken and soft peaks form, then turn the mixer to low speed. Slowly pour in the gelatin mixture and mix on low until well combined. Increase the mixer to medium speed and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
- Note: if the gelatin mixture thickens up too much before you add it to the whipped cream, just pop it back in the microwave for 3-5 seconds. It should be a pour-able consistency.
- Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, use a cupcake corer or knife to remove the center of each cupcake and discard.
- Spoon or pipe the cooled cherry filling into each cupcake.
- Transfer the stabilized whipped cream into a piping bag and pipe swirls on each cupcake, or spread on with a knife, stacking the cream as high as you like.
- Top with a drizzle of red wine syrup and a light dusting of cocoa powder.
Credit: We have adapted this recipe from Kyleigh Sage’s food blog, Barley and Sage.
Wine and cheese are the ultimate couple, complimenting each other so beautifully it’s hard to imagine one without the other. Though both are delicious in their own right, food science has found supporting evidence for this couple! The acidity and tannins in wine are moderated and complemented by the fat and creaminess of cheese, and vice versa. Cheeses that are infused with other flavors, like black pepper or rosemary, can help build flavor bridges on the palate and unlock mirrored flavors in the profile of the wine. Cheese has also been found to be helpful in identifying the fruit flavors in wines, both red and white!
To get some guidance on the infinitude of options when it comes to cheese and wine pairings, we spoke to Rubino Estates Wine ambassadors about their favorite wine and cheese pairings. Below, we’ve assembled a few of their recommendations for anyone looking to make their Tasting Room visit an especially luxurious experience!
Our Sartori Heritage Cheddar is light and nutty, mild enough to enhance a delicious golden sip of our Riserva Chardonnay. Enjoy an artisan cheese alongside handcrafted, Estate grown wine.
For our Landmark Chardonnay lovers, we recommend soft cheeses, such as a brie or goat cheese. Look for our Chevre options and discover your favorite!
Our Espresso BellaVitano is suited for our bold reds, we love it especially with our Landmark 1885 Founder’s Blend. Wake up your palate and enchant your senses!
Our Yancey’s Fancy cheeses are delectable with our medium-bodied wines. We recommend enjoying any of our Yancey’s Fancy alongside Centanni Rosso, our Club-Exclusive blend
The most important rule of cheese and wine pairing: Eat and Sip on what you love. There is no cheese police here--your pairings should make you happy, so we invite you to explore! The cheeses mentioned in this blog can be found featured in the Rubino Estates Deli. Our selection rotates, so there’s always a chance to try something new!
Have you ever been searching for just the right word to describe the wine you are tasting? To help with this, we’re turning to some of our favorite uncommon adjectives to help us describe the singular beauty and complexity of eight Rubino Estates favorites. We are hoping this list inspires word-lovers and wine-lovers alike to expand their tasting repertoire and describe the true nature of these vivacious wines!
Trebbiano - Luminous
Trebbiano is a white wine, rare in this part of the world, we find it deserving of this word, evocative of a certain gentle glow. It’s clear yet golden, and shine in the glass and on the palate.
Fumé Blanc - Redolent
A tropical nose, layered with complexity and ripe fruit, sets this wine apart. A whisper of vanilla from its time in oak makes this wine redolent: aromatic, evocative, reminiscent of some special quality.
Riserva Chardonnay - Munificent
Anyone who takes a sip of our deliciously aromatic and buttery Chardonnay will note that it is richly generous, even lavish--encapsulated in the word “munificent.”
Salute Rosé - Arcadian
Something about this wine has us feeling serene and peaceful. Rosé made from Sangiovese is harder to find in our region, and this varietal brings an arcadian sense of rustic tranquility to your glass.
Primitivo - Dapper
This Italian cousin of Zinfandel is trim and snazzy, with a sleek bottle and smooth tannins. If you enjoy intrigue and delight, then this wine is the debonair addition your collection is looking for.
Night Owl Barbera - Sagacious
Like the Owl that graces the label, there is something deep and profound in each pour of this Riserva collection Barbera. The wise, discerning eyes of the barn owl watch over the Estate and help bring you this sagacious wine.
Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon - Ubiquitous
This classic varietal is pervasive and popular, with extensive planting around the world. Cabernet Sauvignon is deserving of its popularity! Enjoy the ubiquitous aromas and flavors of plums, cherries, and faintly grippy tannins.
Riserva Sangiovese - Decorous
This especially bright red wine is proper and polite with all food, with a certain courtly aroma and respectable mouthfeel. A decorous glass of this Sangiovese never rustles feathers or disappoints.
All of the wines above are featured in our curated mixed cases, at unbeatable prices!
Available only while supplies last.
“This deep and plush wine boasts sultry oak spices like cinnamon, vanilla and wood smoke that layer through very ripe and delicious black-fruit flavors. Its moderate tannins lend good counterpoint to all the mellow richness of the flavors.” JIM GORDON
The quote to the left, taken from a review by Wine Enthusiast’s Jim Gordon, speaks of the subtleties and allure of our beloved Cuvée Dray, a red wine blend that earned its place in our tasting room and left a mark on our hearts. Though crafted from finely vinified estate-grown fruit and reminiscent of a Bordeaux beauty, this critically acclaimed blend is more than just another wine.
Cuvée Dray, named for our beloved winery dog, Draymond, has been a labor of love from its earliest conception. During the lockdowns of 2020, when we needed a way to look toward brighter days, a lot of us turned towards our pets for companionship. In them, we could find a break from the negativity happening around us. With some extra time on our hands and renewed love for our furry friends, an idea was born: a wine crafted that for every bottle sold, we would donate $10 to our friends at Valley Humane Society.
Our Winemaker Jesse painstakingly crafted several blends with names inspired by our four-legged friend, and the blend and name "Cuvée Dray" were the winners. Soon, a label was designed, based on a picture of Draymond as a puppy in the vineyard.
The next chapter, you may already know. After being released in both the Ruby Hill and Rubino Estates tasting rooms in August, the gorgeous wine and adorable bottle captured the palates and hearts of many. When this project started, our goal was to raise $20,000 for Valley Humane Society and their work to improve the lives of animals and the people who love them. We are proud to announce that through the sales of our 2019 vintage of Cuvée Dray, which sold out just weeks ago, we have raised and donated a grand total of $21,730 to the Valley Humane Society. We could not have done it without you!
The good news for all the wine-lovers and dog-lovers out there: the Cuvée Dray will be coming back. The magic in the barrels will be bottled later this year, and we look forward to welcoming another vintage of Cuvée Dray back to the tasting room sometime this summer.