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RustRidge Winery

RustRidge Winery The secluded property, once a large thoroughbred horse ranch, was purchased by Susan Meyer's family in 1972. Now it reflects Jim & Susan's two passions: wine and horses. They still breed and race thoroughbreds and each spring; just about the time new buds form on the grape vines, new foals are born. The grape vines were planted in the mid 70's to Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The winery was founded by Stan and Grant Meyer in 1985. It is housed in a renovated cattle barn. Winemaker Susan Meyer and her husband, Jim Fresquez, took over the reins of the operation in 1990. Helping Susan handcraft the estate-bottled wines produced by RustRidge is distinguished consultant winemaker Kent Rosenblum. Vines are organically grown and dry farmed. The majority of the grapes from the RustRidge Vineyard are sold to other wine producers, including Rosenblum Cellars and Catacula Lake Winery. The remaining grapes are used by Susan and Kent to create RustRidge's spectrum of award-winning wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel. The region's special microclimate is integral to the character of RustRidge wines. The Chiles Valley lies approximately 1,000 feet above the Napa Valley floor. The climate here is similar to that of the Oakville and Rutherford areas, except that the temperature is colder in winter. This, coupled with the higher elevation, causes bud-break to occur two or three weeks later than the rest of Napa Valley. As a result, the grapes are harvested later than most other grapes from Napa Valley which, in part, lends distinctive flavor and quality to the wines. The reds are redolent of black cherry, bell pepper and spice, while the white wines have strong peach, apricot, green apple and citrus characteristics.

From HWY 29: take the HWY 128 turn-off at Rutherford and follow it across Silverado Trail...From Silverado Trail: take the Conn Dam/Lake Berryessa turnoff (HWY 128)...Proceed past Lake Hennessey. At the "Y", turn left on to Chiles & Pope Valley Road. Continue 3 1/2 miles to Lower Chiles Valley Road and turn right. RustRidge, 2910 Lower Chiles Valley Road, is about one mile from that turn, on the left, and marked by signs.

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Address Web Social
2910 Lower Chiles Valley Road, St. Helena, CA, US, 94574 Email:
Phone: 707-965-9353 Web:
Fax: 707-286-5502
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  Cabernet Sauvignon
The initial aromas of this wine are raspberry and vanilla. Further exploration reveals dark chocolate and cocoa aromas that continue through to the palate. The wine finishes with the same flavors of dark chocolate and vanilla and with subtle tannins. This Cabernet was aged for 24 months in French Oak and is soft and velvety and very drinkable now but will continue to develop for another 3-5 years.
  Chardonnay Reserve
Chiles Valley's cool climate, mountain fruit benefits from extended hang time which creates a multi-dimensional wine which is enhanced by 100% barrel fermentation and lees stirring. The bouquet is reminiscent of Fuji apples, cream and spice and a touch of nuttiness. The flavors of apple, pear and melon are balanced with crisp acid and creamy nuances. This wine works well with grilled scallops, Oysters Rockefeller, or sautéed halibut.
  Estate Chardonnay
This lovely Chardonnay harnesses the delicate cool climate fruit of RustRidge, showing crisp apple and pear aromas with just a hint of creamy vanilla. The finished wine is nicely balanced and reminiscent of a classic Chablis. It is a perfect accompaniment to shellfish and white-sauced pastas.
  Estate Zinfandel
This rich and exotic Zinfandel shows exceptional balance with fruit, acid and structure. The bouquet of blackberry and huckleberry , earth and leather leads into mouth filling flavors of currant, anise and chocolate. This is a sophisticated claret style wine with supple tannins and a long lingering finish. Try pairing this wine with barbecued salmon filets or marinated grilled baby lamb chops.
  NV Racehorse Red
Racehorse Red is as dynamic as its presence suggests. A bold blend of 55% 2002 Zinfandel, 35% 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% 2003 Petite Sirah, it offers a deep, round mouth feel and alluring aromatics. The nose is a composition of well-integrated oak, ripe berries, and chocolate. The berries carry on to the palate along with traces of sweet oak, followed by a lingering chocolate finish. This is accompanied with a supple and plush mouth feel making Racehorse Red a wildly approachable and seductive wine.
  Sauvignon Blanc
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes were harvested in August 2004 at over 24 brix. They were whole cluster pressed; the juice was settled then transfered to three year old oak barrels. Each of the barrels was individually innoculated with a distinct yeast to bring out aroma, flavor, mouth feel and finish. The must was barrel fermented at 58 degrees, racked then barrel aged until the end of December 2004 when the wine was bottled. It was released July 1, 2005.


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