Rubino Estate and Ruby Hill are two Livermore Valley Gems, both located in Pleasanton and both with wines created by winemaker Chris Graves.
By Laura Ness
Prepare to be impressed by the newest high-end wine experience in the Livermore Valley. Winemaker Chris Graves and his team from established Ruby Hill Winery, are not given to hyperbole in anything but well-made wines from their TVC-entrusted estate vineyards. Their recent success in the 2013 TVC Uncorked Competition bears witness to that: Ruby Hill took Best of Show, Best Red, Best Cab, Best Petite Sirah and Best Italian Red.
They’ve also been busy preparing for the launch of their new brand, Rubino Estate Winery, the most unique and Italianate winetasting experience yet to grace the Valley.
This new tasting room is now, by far, the largest in the region, at more than 8,000 square feet. Along with nearby Ruby Hill Winery, whose tasting room boasts a majestic 4,000 square feet, these two easily dwarf everything else in the area.
Rubino, which means “ruby” in Italian, occupies the home of the former Mitchell Katz at Ruby Hill Winery, which was a joint project between former partners Mitchell Katz and Mike Callaghan. Rubino becomes the new winery of record for the Palm Event Center.
In this taste of old world Italy, Club Members will enjoy a screened off area with bar tables. The “King’s Room,” a private, enclosed tasting area for private parties, ideal for sommelier-led food and wine pairings, as well as private wine dinners, will have a grand table capable of seating 14.
Callaghan, a contractor, employed extensive stone and marble for the interior, complete with a water feature behind the tasting bar. An entirely new, entirely grand fountain graces the courtyard. Eventually, a bocce court will be added.
Winemaker Chris Graves is extremely excited about the new labels and the new wines, especially the blends – some of which he’s been working on for several years. The Rubino label features primarily Italian varietals, including Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, as well as some interesting riffs on Super Tuscans. Special wines are already being created for the various tiers of Rubino wines, including Harvest Collection, Reserve Collection and Famiglia Club.
Significant grafting is occurring in the estate vineyard to make all this possible, and exciting new varietals are in the offing, among them, Cortisi and Trebbianno.
Although you may already have a notion of what to expect, says Callaghan, “When someone comes to our side of town, we want them to have two entirely different experiences.” And with Chris Graves at the helm, you will find wines to love at both.
The Rubino tasting room is located at 1188 Vineyard Avenue in Pleasanton. Ruby Hill Winery’s tasting room is located at 400 Vineyard Avenue in Pleasanton. Both are open daily from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information visit www.rubyhillwinery.net, www.rubinoestateswinery.com.