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.
We have never shied away from a Taco Tuesday and with summer officially here, we're enjoying some lighter fare that mirrors the season: fresh and bright foods that dance on the tongue and make your mouth water. One of our favorite summertime tacos is the Fish Taco. The crispy fried fish wrapped in a warm, soft tortilla and topped with crunchy cabbage and a slightly spicy pico de gallo is a fun food friend to our wine of the month, the 2016 Fumé Blanc.
Not exactly familiar with Fumé Blanc? Fumé Blanc is made from sauvignon blanc but aged in oak for a period of time to soften some of the grassy aromas and flavors that sauvignon blanc offers. The Rubino Estates 2016 Fumé Blanc has a complex nose with vanilla and hints of citrus including oranges, orange blossom, and pomelo. A smooth texture is complemented by a rich and creamy mouthfeel and a soft acidity. Some exotic fruit comes through with flavors of mango and pineapple upside-down cake. A great wine on its own, a chilled glass of Fumé Blanc is a great pairing with this fish taco recipe from Sam Sifton of the New York Times.
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut crosswise into half moons (optional)
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 limes, 1 halved and 1 cut into wedges
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canned chipotle pepper, finely chopped (optional)
- ½ cup flour, preferably Wondra or other fine-milled flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup peanut oil, plus a splash more for greasing pan
- Pat of butter
- 1 pound flounder or any firm white-fleshed fish, cut across the grain of the flesh into strips about 1/2 inch wide by 3 inches long
- 12 6-inch fresh corn tortillas
- 2 cups shredded green cabbage
- A saucy hot sauce, like Tapatio or Frank’s
- In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro and jalapeño (if using).
- In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise and sour cream until combined. Season to taste with the halved lime, salt, pepper and chipotle (if using).
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, chili powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons each of kosher salt and black pepper. Pour the milk into another medium bowl, and place the fish into it.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the peanut oil into a 12-inch frying pan and place over medium-high heat until it shimmers and is about to smoke. Remove the fish pieces from the milk bath and dredge them lightly through the flour mixture, shaking to remove excess. Add the butter to the pan. Place some fish pieces in the oil, without crowding them, and cook until deep golden brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn carefully and cook for 1 minute more. Remove to a warmed, paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining fish.
- Meanwhile, lightly grease a skillet with a drizzle of oil and set over medium heat. Heat the tortillas, one or two at a time, until they are soft and hot. Keep them warm, wrapped in a dish towel.
- Fill each tortilla with 3 pieces of fish, browned side up, followed by tomato salsa and a pinch of cabbage. Drizzle with the cream sauce. Serve 2 to 3 tacos per person, with lime wedges and hot sauce on the side.
Add our wine of the month to your next shipping order. Enjoy complimentary shipping on 6 or more bottles!
“A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.”
Father's Day is quickly approaching and we are looking forward to celebrating all the wonderful dads and father-figures in our lives who have shaped us into who we are today. Some of us may not be able to see our loved ones in person but we can still send a special gift to let them know we care. Though Sunday is just a few days away, there's still time to surprise Dad with a gift. Here are a few last-minute gifts for wine-loving fathers that will get delivered straight to their door.
Wine-Inspired Father's Day Gifts
Coravin - For the father who doesn't want to drink the entire bottle all at once. With the Coravin preservation system, you simply insert a special needle, tip, and pour —then save the rest of the bottle for weeks, months, or even years!
Personalized Zalto Wine Glass - Help Dad drink in style with a monogrammed wine glass. The Zalto Denk'Art Bordeaux is perfect for bold wines with high tannins like our Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon or Ferrario.
Grilling Greats - If you have a father that you just can't keep away from the grill, this is a great gift. Stock his freezer with a selection of meats for him to pair with his favorite wines.
Cheese Club - If they love wine, they probably love cheese too. The Pennyroyal Five Farm to Table is the perfect subscription. Five times a year, members receive a selection of cheeses made from goats and sheep that are reflective of season changes.
Wine Club Membership - Wine club memberships are great gifts! Who doesn't like wine delivered right to their door? Whether your father is an aficionado or a novice, wine club memberships are a great way to expand his palate and introduce him to your favorites; you'll bond over new wine discoveries.
We hope this helps you if you're in a pinch and that you enjoy the weekend celebrating the special men in your life!
We are thrilled to announce the very first vintage of Rubino Estates Salute Rosé just in time for you to celebrate National Rosé Day!
The 2019 Salute Rosé is a blend of 48% Sangiovese, 28% Nebbiolo, and 24% Barbera. The nose has light red fruit, including wild strawberry and watermelon, and on the palate, the fruit is joined by red currant flavors. Fermented in stainless steel to maintain a fresh and balanced acidity, our Salute Rosé has a lovely full body but maintains a crisp and dry finish.
Here is a little bit more about rosé and our rosé production from our winemaker, Jesse Plautz.
"Rosé production is basically done in two different ways. The first is like creating a white wine, where red wines are put directly into the press with minimal maceration. The other is to pull a saignée (literally "bleeding" the tank). This involves pulling juice out of a red wine ferment before it has a chance to get much extraction. In either case, you can go from 0 minutes of skin contact up to 1-2 days depending on the style.
For the Salute Rosé, all of the grapes were picked and processed specifically for the rosé program. I wanted to highlight younger and fresher flavors and aromas so we picked the fruit much sooner than we would for red wines. For the skin contact, we let the Nebbiolo and Sangiovese sit with their skins for 2 hours and the Barbera for 4 hours. It was just enough time to get a little color and a little extra flavor, but to avoid allowing the tannins to extract much. We destemmed and crushed the fruit prior to maceration, then put it in the press once I saw the flavors and extraction I wanted. For the Nebbiolo, I was looking primarily for a rose petal aroma, which it is well known for. Sangiovese provides a lot of the flavor, with floral notes and a bit of strawberry. The darker red fruits and the acid come from the Barbera, as well as a lot of the color.
The 2019 Salute Rosé is a blend of 48% Sangiovese, 28% Nebbiolo, and 24% Barbera. The nose has light red fruit, including wild strawberry and watermelon, and on the palate, the fruit is joined by red currant flavors. Fermented in stainless steel to maintain a fresh and balanced acidity, our Salute Rosé has a lovely full body but maintains a crisp and dry finish."
We are so excited to pop the cork on a few of these this weekend. Tag us @rubinoestates when you open up your bottles too! It's the perfect pairing for lightly sauced barbeque ribs or curries, and on the lighter side, a caprese, or niçoise salad. Add it to your order for curbside pick-up!
Our Wine of the Month for May is the 2016 Rubino Estates Fumé Blanc. Handpicked in the cool of the morning, then strategically fermented in neutral barrels to provide a creamy mouthfeel and a subtle hint of spice. Our goal is to showcase the best of what the grapes have to offer. Our Fumé Blanc is aged in neutral oak for about 18 months before bottling to give the wine a gentle and cold fermentation that maximizes its delicate aromas and flavors. It offers a complex nose with vanilla and hints of citrus, including oranges, orange blossom, and pomelo. Gentle acidity adds balance to the smooth texture complemented by a rich and creamy mouthfeel. Some exotic fruit comes through with flavors of mango and pineapple upside-down cake. Served chilled, our Fumé Blanc is a perfect pairing for roasted chicken, fishcakes, grilled fish, salmon, and scallops. Speaking of scallops, below is a recipe to enjoy with the Fumé Blanc. Scallops are a favorite seafood treat and are not as hard to make as one might think. This simple recipe is perfect for a summery Sunday dinner. Pick up a bottle during curbside pick-up this weekend! We hope you enjoy it!
Scallops with Cream and Basil
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 12 sea scallops
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup chopped shallots
- 1 teaspoon slivered garlic
- Pinch crushed red chili flakes
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 20 basil leaves, cut in thin ribbons
- Put 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. When foam subsides, add scallops; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown on both sides, adjusting heat so they brown nicely; they need not cook through. Remove them to a plate.
- Turn off heat, cool pan a bit, and wipe out. Add remaining butter over medium heat. When it melts, add shallots, garlic, chili flakes, and a little more salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes, or until shallots soften.
- Add wine, raise the heat a bit, and let bubble away for a minute or so until reduced by about half; add cream and repeat. When the liquid is thick, return scallops and juices to pan.
- Cook for about a minute, stirring in half the basil until scallops are just firm. Taste and adjust seasoning, transfer to small bowls or plates with a bit of sauce, garnish with remaining basil, and serve.
"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." - John Muir
One of the silver linings of these last few months of shelter in place is that we've been able to spend more time in the great outdoors. Here, in the Livermore Valley, we are in no short supply of natural beauty, and we've been soaking up as much as we possibly can. We are quite certain that wine, family, and nature are a few of things that have helped us maintain our sanity!
Even if you don't consider yourself to be someone who enjoys working out, regular walks are still beneficial for your health. According to the Mayo Clinic, walking helps you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mood
- Improve your balance and coordination
Not only does the physical act of walking release all those good chemicals in the brain to make you feel better, but when you spend time in nature, you also reap additional mood-enhancing benefits. We asked our wine club manager, Riley Callahan, and our Director of Wholesale, Shaina Haller, to share a few of their favorite Tri-Valley trails. Have a favorite of your own? Tag us @rubinoestates on your next walk! Oh! And don't forget to pack a snack and a bottle of wine to enjoy after! (We recommend a cold bottle of Riserva Chardonnay.)
"The thing I love most about Livermore is all the walking trails! We typically use All Trails when we are looking for new routes to explore. We love Sycamore Grove, and our go-to walk there is the Winery Loop route, which passes by the abandoned Cresta Blanca winery. We also love Del Valle, and its Cresta Blanca trail is another favorite trail of ours & Dray's too since he can be off-leash!" - Riley Calahan, Wine Club Manager
"I just started hiking in May after going nuts with less social interaction. I mainly hike the Las Trampus Trail on Starview Court in Danville. My kids started going with me, and it was so good to be outside in the fresh air. And to remember that although this time is tough for all of us, we are so lucky to live in this beautiful area, and have the opportunity to spend more time with loved ones by finding ways to get outside." - Shaina Haller, Director of Wholesale
Spend some time this weekend visiting their favorites!
Not in the Livermore area? Find the trails in your neighborhood on www.alltrails.com.