Veronica, the maiden of Autumn, looks out over the Estate.
Now that our harvest is in full swing, there is never a dull moment in the cellar as our Winemaker and his team work their magic on the fruit to craft wines from the best of the best. As the labor of harvest time progresses, we can’t help but dream of the beauty and wonder of fall. Throughout history, the autumnal season of harvest has been the focus of many myths, folktales, superstition, and poetry. To harvest is to join in the rich and storied history of millennia of farmers and their toil. To celebrate the richness of fall is to join in the festivities of many generations before us. Today, we’ll endeavor to do both by diving into the charming stories, traditions, and superstitions of days gone by.
Autumn is one of the most stunning times of year, as the world turns from lush green tones into shocking yellow, burnt orange, and rich scarlet. Prior to the modern era, this season would define the seasons to come. Scarce harvests threatened their livelihoods. From the crucial nature of Autumn and harvest sprang forth superstitions of every kind.
Native American Cherokee lore stated that the pattern of the fall season was set forth early in the life of the world. An injured sparrow sought shelter during harsh weather, visiting oak, maple, and other leafed trees, but all rejected him. Only the pine, with his bushy needles, accepted and protected the sparrow. Because of their callous treatment of the sparrow, the other trees were cursed to lose their leaves every year when the harsh weather was on its way.
In other traditions, It was thought that the earlier the colors of fall peaked on the trees, the milder the winter would be. If a red rose bloomed in the fall, it was taken as an omen that a marriage was in store for someone in the nearest home. Anyone spry enough to catch a leaf as it fell from a tree before reaching the ground would be safe from colds that winter.
Autumnal superstitions still impact our lives today. The old English calendar had “quarter days,” events marking their times and seasons in March, June, September, and December. Michaelmas, the quarter day of autumn, fell on September 29th and marked the deadline for harvesting. This is why the school year traditionally began in September.
Old harvesting practices also gave the “Harvest Moon” its title. It is the name given to the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox, which appears unusually close to sunset and would give field laborers valuable light to continue working by. These workers were traditionally supplied with a large ration of hard cider each day. Often the farmer’s wives would also lay a “teatime” spread for the workers, as going home to eat would waste valuable daylight. At that time, a single field worker could be expected to harvest one acre per workday. In the 1870s, the horse-drawn reaper binder represented a huge forward step in harvest technology, because 2 men could harvest an acre in a single hour when using this device. How far we have come!
Autumn begins to touch the Estate with a crimson kiss.
Harvest 2021 is officially underway here at Rubino Estates! We have begun to bring in the fruit for our white wines and Rosé, and we anticipate a busy and productive phase as our Winemaker and cellar team begin the process of turning grapes into the wine you know and love. This process involves taking tons (yes, literal tons) of grapes and transforming them into irresistible vino. For anyone wondering how much wine comes from a ton of grapes? We're glad you asked! Below, we've included some of our favorite "wine math" to answer all your burning questions.
How many barrels and bottles is a ton?
One ton (2,000 pounds) of grapes produces about 756 bottles of wine, enough to fill 2.5 barrels. Each barrel of wine holds about 25 cases worth—this means that our standard barrels contain roughly 300 bottles in volume. Each of these barrels requires around 1200-1500 clusters to fill.
How many grape clusters do you need to make a bottle or a glass of wine?
It takes about 5 full clusters to make a bottle of wine, and each standard-sized bottle contains about 5 glasses of wine. Therefore, a cluster of grapes yields approximately one glass of wine. If each glass contains a cluster, then it should not be a difficult leap to discern the quantity of grapes in each glass.
So, how many grapes are in a glass of wine?
Alas, there is no straightforward answer. It depends on everything from varietal to winemaking technique. This answer isn't as satisfying as we'd like, however, so we'll go with a safe average of about 80 grapes in a glass of wine and 400 grapes in each bottle.
For any wine enthusiasts (or math enthusiasts) who want to know more about these numbers, it's important to note that all of the numbers listed above can actually have an immense amount of variability depending on a wide range of factors. The weight of grape clusters is influenced by variables such as sugar content or weather (grapes may be plump from rain). Furthermore, the number of individual grapes that go into a bottle or glass of wine will depend on the press processes performed by the winemaker, the thickness of the grape skin, and more. Now you know! Happy sipping!
Bonus fact: assuming the figures listed above are correct, it takes roughly 120,000 grapes to fill a single barrel. It's worth it.
Each morning, the Estate is holding its breath. Any day, the harvest will begin and our winemaker and his team will begin their labor of love, transforming the bounty into the wines we will enjoy for many years to come. The vines are full, ripe, and almost ready. As shown above, clusters in our Riserva Sangiovese block ripen to perfection. Below, Sauvignon Blanc grapes glow in the first light of the day.
These gorgeous green-skinned grapes will find their way into our 2021 Fumé Blanc.
Here, the sunlight has not quite evaporated the dew that lingers from the morning's fog on a promising cluster destined for our Riserva Petite Sirah.
The sunlight graces our Chardonnay with a breathtaking golden glow in a way that we can't help but look forward to the beauty of what the bottles will hold.
Our Riserva Barbera is fruitful and picturesque, perfect for nature lovers and wine lovers alike.
In our Landmark Barbera block, the sun peeks through and begins to warm the air and bring on the day. The deep purple fruit continues to mature, growing ever closer to harvest time.
Our winemaker has closely monitored every facet of the vineyard and predicts that our Sauvignon Blanc grapes will be ready first, even within the next few days. Fumé Blanc lovers, rejoice!
Meanwhile, our Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon is patiently ripening into a gorgeous dark hue, ready to be appreciated by wine lovers of all kinds.
The vineyard has an uncommon type of beauty in this season. If you would like to see it up close, perhaps you'll love our Duck Tour—click here for details.
August may be coming to an end, but we're still taking time to celebrate summer! If you're looking for a recipe for the last of this year's peaches, this pie is a worthy dish. This elevated take on a delicious classic is bursting with fresh flavors and a touch of warm spice, perfect for pairing with a chilled glass of our Moscato.
Blueberry Peach Pie
- 2 unbaked pie crusts (top & bottom)
- 3 cups sliced and peeled peaches (about 4-5 medium peaches)
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Zest & juice of 1 meyer lemon
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup flour or cornstarch
- Sparkling sugar
- Optional - blanch the peaches to make peeling easier. Simply place in boiling water for 60 seconds then plunge into an ice bath; the skin will peel off.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine peaches, blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, and spices. Allow to macerate for at least 30 minutes.
- While the filling sits, prepare a standard pie dish with the bottom crust and preheat oven to 400 °F.
- Add salt and flour or cornstarch to the pie filling and stir well to combine. Pour into the prepared pie shell.
- Top the pie with the upper crust. For a more elaborate top, feel free to create a lattice weave. Crimp the edges and top with sparkling sugar.
- Bake at 400°F for 40 minutes. If the crust begins to darken too much add a loose layer of foil around the edges.
- Cool completely and serve with vanilla bean ice cream and Rubino Estates Moscato Sparkling Dessert Wine.
Our Duck Tour is a lively adventure through our story and proud Estate, full of gorgeous views and unforgettable amusement. This week, we want to take some time to appreciate the little things and the beauty in the details.
The closer you look, the more details you might find. We've found that paying attention to the smallest details makes the whole experience better than ever.
Our Duck Boat is a registered historical DUKW vehicle, originally manufactured in the 1940s. Not only has it been meticulously restored, it has been transformed into the USS Rubino—the best vessel for a panoramic excursion through our vineyard estate.
The careful craftsmanship evident in every little detail makes the Duck look right at home among the vines of your favorite wines.
If you tend to get seasick, don't worry—our Duck Tour won't take you into the water. Instead, this land voyage takes you on an unforgettable tour where you'll be immersed in the story of your favorite wines, from stem to bottle. Come aboard for a tour like no other in a vessel you'll never forget!
"What you pay attention to matters, but maybe what matters most is the kind of attention you pay."
If you're looking for a Californian celebration of Old World style and delicious Italian flair, then you're probably looking for our Primitivo. This elegant wine is Zinfandel's Italian cousin, full of deep fruit flavor and framed with vanilla and spices. Our Primitivo is also an absolute gem for pairing, with delicious flexibility across many flavors and cuisines. Call it playful or call it polished, one of our favorite Primitivo pairings is pizza. If you want to play around with flavors, try making your own pizza at home! We've included a few ideas below. If you'd rather order out that's okay—we'll never tell. You simply can't beat the combination of an Italian dish with Italian wine!
Hatch Green Chile Chicken Pizza - A Pleasant Little Kitchen
Enjoy a hint of spice with this pizza! The green chiles lend a kick which is balanced out by the body of our Primitivo. The creaminess of the sauce is the perfect compliment for the wine's acidity and tannins, and will definitely have you reaching for another slice.
Caprese Salad Pizza - Kiran Turan
Looking to elevate your pizza with a fresh, summery take on a classic? This pizza is a must-try. We recommend market-fresh heirloom tomatoes for a splash of color and unbeatable flavor. Use fresh basil for the best, most mouthwatering results. We're hungry now!
Italian Sausage and Caramelized Onion - Bread Booze Bacon
If there's a better indulgent combination for pizzas, we haven't found it. The light jammy characteristics of the Primitivo meld with the sweet and savory dynamic of the caramelized onions. Select authentic Italian sausage with a little bit of spice and you may have a new favorite.
Garlic & Fennel Mushroom Pizza - Life is but a Dish
Aromatic, picturesque, and surprisingly simple, this pizza is a great call if you have store-bought dough on hand and want to make something tasty, classy, and quick! The earthy mushrooms combined with the gentle flavor of the caramelized fennel tastes like they were made to be enjoyed with Primitivo.
Classic Deep Dish Pizza - Ambitious Kitchen
Of course, if you're a deep-dish lover, there's options for you! This recipe allows for ample customization for the perfect pizza pie. As for us, we truly believe you can't go wrong with a classic margherita-style pizza, so it's time to slice some fresh mozzarella and basil, and bake it to perfection!
Though light in color, white wines can be big with flavor, technique, and enjoyment. Whether you prefer a buttery oaked Chardonnay or a bubbly light Sparkling, white wines are worth celebrating for their diversity and drinkability. In honor of White Wine day (August 4th) here are a few quick facts you might not know about vino bianco (white wine).
White wine can technically come from red grapes
Though this preparation is uncommon, red grapes can make white wine. The purest definition of white wine is simply any wine that is produced with minimal contact with the skin of the grapes, and wines fermented without contact with the skins will be colorless since the skins dictate the color of the wine. One example of this technique is Pinot Grigio, a white wine made from vibrant purple grapes. Generally, however, white wines are produced from “white” grapes, which are generally a golden-green hue.
White wine has few tannins
Tannins are the colorful compounds in the skins of darker grapes. In addition to giving red wine its color, the presence or absence of tannins creates the strongest distinction between the experience of tasting red vs. white wines. Instead of deep, tannic flavor, white wines generally emphasize buttery smooth texture and dynamic aroma, or refreshingly delicious acidity.
White wine is easier on your head
Most white wines have lower alcohol content than red wines. Between this factor and the lower level of tannins, white wines are less likely to lead to fearsome headaches. Additionally, white wines are generally less caloric than red wines!
White wine has a range of profiles
Chardonnay is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to white wines. These wines grow all over the world and are produced according to the style of the individual winemaker. In addition to varietal differences, the technique that goes into crafting a delicious white wine creates a world of possibilities. If you think you don’t enjoy white wine, keep sipping! You just haven’t met the one for you yet.
White wines are ideal at 45-50˚F
For anyone newer to serving and sipping white wine, it’s important to know what temperature is best for enjoying your vino. Because of the shorter fermentation and aging process, a deliciously delicate and dynamic aroma graces many white wines. This aroma is best appreciated when the wine is chilled. The acidity of white wine truly shines when cold, creating the most refreshing sips possible.
If you’d like to enjoy some of our white wines here, make sure to try our White Wine Flight which features some Estate-grown Cal-Ital favorites!
Because we are almost 100% estate-grown here, we see our wines through every step of the process—growing, harvesting, fermenting, aging, bottling, and everything in between. The photographs above were taken this past March while we bottled our Fumé Blanc and Chardonnay, two of our wines featured on the White Wine Flight.
This time of year, the vineyards put on a breathtaking show. Over the course of a few weeks, the green clusters of grape berries shift their color in a process called verasion, marking the end of the growing period and the beginning of ripening. Our winemaking team now begins the countdown to harvest, which usually begins 2 months after the onset of verasion. Not long before verasion, the vineyard team meticulously prunes the vines in a process called "leafing" which exposes the fruit to more sunlight, moving the ripening process along. During verasion, our red wine grapes develop their purple color, while our white wine grapes take on a more transparent golden-green.
Each varietal takes on a different shade at its own pace. Monitoring the vineyard is especially vital during this part of the year, and it is one beautiful chore. The vines are at their most resplendent each day at sunrise and sunset, shining in the light as a marvelous mosaic of color. Verasion begins at a different times, dependent on varietal, terrior, and weather. Our first varietal to show color is generally Petite Sirah, developing a gorgeous dark purple hue in mid-July, but our Sangiovese surprised us this year by blushing first!Soon, the cellar will be abuzz with preparation for our Estate's 2021 harvest. We can't wait to see the wines that come from this crop! Which are you most excited for? Let us know @rubinoestates.
Did you know July is ice cream month? Now is the perfect moment to serve up a few scoops of your favorite ice cream with a new topping: red wine syrup. If you’re looking to elevate your ice cream (and chocolate and caramel don’t cut it) then this is exactly what you need. Enjoy the subtle complexities of the added spice along the fruit notes of our Salute Red for a perfect summertime treat. After all, it’s hard to go wrong with wine and ice cream, and believe it or not, this syrup is very easy to make!
Spiced Red Wine Syrup
- 1 bottle Salute Red
- Generous pinch of sea salt
- 2/3 cup sugar, adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns, bruised
- 2 cinnamon sticks, broken
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan combine everything and heat over medium high. Cook down the wine syrup, uncovered, until thick enough to lightly coat a spoon, usually about 10-15 minutes. Immediately pour into another container to cool down.
- Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature, then enjoy atop your favorite ice cream. Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three months.
Not in the mood for ice cream? That’s okay too! This syrup tastes great on just about anything. Try it on fresh fruit, brownies, or even on your pancakes (talk about a luxurious brunch)! If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, try this syrup as a finishing sauce on grilled meats or roasted foods like lamb, pork, or even yams. You can also use it as a dip for your cheese boards and enjoy a symphony of flavors like never before.
Feel free to customize this recipe to your liking! Any of our full-bodied or fruit-forward reds will taste phenomenal, and you can adjust the spices to your liking to make the best syrup for your palate. Try adding additional mulling spices, orange peel, or almond extract for added complexity. Even better, if you increase the sugar in the recipe, try using this syrup in place of simple syrup in your favorite cocktails and watch the flavors illuminate!
Wondering which ice cream to try with this syrup? Try classic vanilla bean, pecan praline, or go full neapolitan. Let us know what you try @rubinoestates!
After more than a year’s pause, we are proud to announce the return of our Duck Boat Tour! If your craving for adventure matches your love for good wine, then this experience is perfect for you. Embark upon a journey in our historic Duck boat for an experience including panoramic views, a knowledgeable and charming tour captain, and of course delicious food and wine! Our Duck Boat is an authentic DUKW amphibious vehicle, circa 1950. This vessel now bears the name “USS Rubino” and will take you on a tour unlike any you've ever experienced.
You will begin in the grand ambience of the tasting room, where you will find your Tour Captain ready to whisk you away on a journey around the beauty and secrets of the Estate. It’s time to grab a glass and get going! Soon, you will be taken for a behind-the-scenes peek at our production facility. You’ll have a chance to see equipment from every part of the winemaking process, including thousands of oak barrels. Many of these barrels contain the early stages of what will become your favorite Cal-Ital wines.
Now, the adventure continues as you step aboard the USS Rubino and embark upon a spirited drive through our Estate Vineyard, where you may encounter local wildlife snacking on grapes, young vines developing delicate tendrils, and unbeatable views of the Livermore Valley. As your Captain guides you through the acres of vines, you’ll have a chance to ask questions and learn more about the story and viticulture of the area.
Before returning to the tasting room, you will come to a large table among the vines, shaded by an oak tree. You will be treated to an exclusive flight featuring wines from all of our collections here at Rubino Estates alongside delicious food offerings, including artisan cheeses and other gourmet bites. As you wine and dine amid the vines, your captain will guide you through the flight, giving you expert insight into what makes these wines special. Upon your return to the tasting room, it’s time for dessert! Dark Chocolate alongside our Infinitum Dessert Wine is the cherry on top of this delicious day!
Whether you’re local or visiting for a day, if you want an immersive look into the wine country of the Livermore Valley, don’t miss this opportunity. Our Estate is rich with history and legacy, and it’s our pleasure to invite people into it! Ready for a wine-lover’s adventure? Book now! Give us a call at (925) 484-1699 or email us at email@example.com anytime.