Today we’re sipping a collection of wines from beverage entrepreneur Ron Rubin, which we received as tasting samples. In 2011 he purchased River Road Family Vineyards and Winery in Green Valley and established Ron Rubin Winery where he makes the Ron Rubin and River Road lines of wine. Ron’s path to winery ownership was not a direct one, but it was interesting.
Ron studied viticulture and enology at UC Davis before joining his family’s wholesale liquor business in Illinois. Beer, wine and liquor were in the portfolio, but Ron’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to sparkling water and then tea. His company, New Age Beverages, became a master licensee for Clearly Canadian Sparkling Water in the Southeastern United States. Some years later he purchased Republic of Tea.
Finally, in 2011 he purchased River Road Family Vineyards and Winery located in Green Valley of Russian River Valley and established his own winery. The vineyard and winery, which was built with elements of Feng Shui design, is certified sustainable by both SIP Certified (Sustainability in Practice) and by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.
Sustainability for Ron includes people and community as well as vineyard and winery practices. He supports a number of community organizations and because of a personal experience he established the Trained for “Saving Lives” program, which places AEDs (Automated External Defibrillator) in California wineries. To date 281 California wineries have qualified for the program by training staff to use the potentially life-saving devices.
Ron’s Chillable Pink, California — pale pink with a bit of fizz. Sweet berry flavors with medium acidity and a sweet finish. 7.1% abv. SRP $13
The flavors are fruity and sweet. It is lacking in acidity to balance the sweetness to my palate.
Ron’s Chillable Red, California — cloudy ruby color with bold aromas and flavors of grape jelly with a bit of fizz, medium acidity and a sweet finish. 7.1% abv. SRP $13
Beginning with the aromas this wine is all about grape jelly with a bit of fizz and significant sweetness. It’s lacking in acidity for the level of sweetness to my taste.
Both Chillable wines are aimed at wine drinkers looking for sweet wines. In their favor is the very low alcohol level, which along with their flavors and sweetness level makes them ideal ingredients for sangria-style drinks.
2018 Ron Rubin Winery Pam’s UN-oaked Chardonnay, California — pale yellow in the glass with aromas and flavors of ripe, yellow apples and a bit of citrus pith. Medium acidity with a finish that is a bit sweet. 12.5% abv. SRP $14
The label says it all. No oak was used in the making of this Chardonnay as per Ron’s wife Pam’s request — this is the style of Chardonnay she prefers to drink.
2018 Ron Rubin Winery Chardonnay, Russian River Valley — bright yellow in the glass with aromas and flavors of oat hay, ripe pears with a bit of citrus and nice acidity. 13.7% abv. SRP $20
Chardonnay is hand picked and whole cluster pressed. Fermentation takes place in American and French oak, 20% new, with partial malolactic fermentation.
The fruit flavors are pleasant and not overwhelmed by oak. It’s hard to argue with the price of this Chardonnay.
2017 Ron Rubin Winery Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley — translucent ruby in the glass with aromas and flavors of earth, berry bramble and blackberries. The wine finishes with nice acidity and smooth tannins. 13.7% abv. SRP $25
A variety of Pinot Noir clones are sourced from estate and grower vineyards located nearby. Fermentation takes place in open-top fermenters and ages in 15% new French oak.
This is the most enjoyable wine of the group and the price is very attractive for a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.
These wines are made to suit wine drinkers with a wide variety of taste preferences. Not every wine drinker will like every wine in this collection, but they all ultimately contribute toward the support of a wide variety of community programs. And that’s a very good thing.