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the glow of rubissow Print
Written by Nikitas Magel   

Sunset on Rubissow (Photo Credit: Afsoon Razavi)AR: (con'd)  But Tim and I have rarely disagreed, though sometimes I want him to think again. I trust this vineyard. I feel like it's a tough place. The vines are tough; even when they might not have much water, I still have faith that they're going to pull out a little more flavor now and then. And sometimes he's like, "Oh, well, look at them; we've got to pick!" or "I don't taste much change in the past three days, so let's pick!" And I'll insist, "Let's just wait a couple of more days." We've had a few of those [conversations], and now I think that we've learned that the vines are amazing. I have tasted some of the changes. And sometimes it really has been worth it to wait, while other times [it turns out that] we waited too long.

TM: It's good to have that back-and-forth. And there have been times when it was just the opposite, where Ariel will say, "This has got to come off the vines" and I'll say "Ariel, just wait."

PR: Tim has brought a high level of standards to the requirements that our fruit has to have, and that was very palpable for us when he came on board.

AR: The other thing is, too, that our fruit is different than it used to be. Tony and I and Dad had some very difficult decisions because we had problems with some of our fruit. We had some very uneven ripening in Cabernet Franc often. So, we'd be tasting these pink berries or even green berries, and we'd be like, "Well, what are we going to do? When are we going to pick?" But all of that has been handled by farming now. This cordon pruning has evened things up dramatically, along with the fruit selection. So the difficult choices are less difficult because the fruit is more even and better. I mean, there was always good fruit, but now it's easier to decide because it is more consistent.

TM: Really great winemaking is about great land and great farming, and then not blowing it.

"Really great winemaking is about great land and great farming, and then not blowing it."

NM: Exactly! Because it all starts in the vineyard, right? Whatever picture you have in your mind as to the potential of those grapes, it can only go downhill from there.

TM: Good winemaking can ameliorate difficulties, but that will never make it greater than its potential.

Message in the Bottle: the Flow of Rubissow

NM: We've talked about the evolution from grape to glass, from a perspective that's uniquely Rubissow. I think it's safe to say that there's a message in the wines that you produce, a message coming from the vines, from the soil, from the earth. And you, collectively as stewards of the land, are bringing that message forth, channeling and conveying it. In closing, can you tell me in your own words: what is that message? And I'd like each of you answer that question.

AR: Should we draw straws? {laughter} In the world that we're in right now, I think we're all having a crisis about what means something to us, and what's worth fighting for. And so I think that's my message: you've got to hold on to the things that are really special and unique. And also, quality. I think we're getting a lot of positive feedback right now about the quality of our decisions. I feel that doing something like this says what I feel about what we should be doing: something that honors the land, something that takes care of our family and community, and that is also respectful and sustainable.

Rubissow's Franciscan Vineyard (Photo Credit: Afsoon Razavi)TM: What's become really important in the last few years is being aware of what [we] eat, drink, drive, wear, and where all this stuff comes from. All the choices we make have global ramifications, even just on a day-to-day level of paying attention — every time you make a choice, every time you buy something, you [should] want to know where it's from. Well, I know where this [bottle of Rubissow wine] is from. And I think anyone who comes to us will know that there's no mystery as to how the wine was made, that it was made with intent, from a place, about a place, unique to that place, and considerations of what it took to put it in the bottle have all been made. That's part of our message, that this is about somewhere and there are people you can meet who do this.




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