Ruby Hill Winery: A Guide to Tasting and Touring in Livermore Valley

Ruby Hill Winery is a family-owned and operated winery located in the Livermore Valley of California. Established in 1887, the winery has a rich history and has been producing wines for over a century. The winery is named after the mineral and iron-rich, ruby red soil that was originally found in the rolling hills of the region. This soil is known for producing high-quality grapes, which are used to make the winery's award-winning wines.

The winery offers a wide range of wines, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel, among others. The winery also has a tasting room where visitors can sample the wines and learn more about the winemaking process. The tasting room is open daily, and visitors can enjoy a fun and comprehensive wine tasting experience with a selection of flights.

In addition to wine tasting, Ruby Hill Winery also offers a wine club, where members can receive regular shipments of the winery's latest releases. Members also receive discounts on purchases, invitations to exclusive events, and other perks. Overall, Ruby Hill Winery is a must-visit destination for wine lovers looking to experience the best that the Livermore Valley has to offer.

History and Legacy

Founding of Ruby Hill Winery

Ruby Hill Winery is a historic winery located in the Livermore Valley, California. The winery was founded in 1887 by John Crellin, who planted the first vineyards into a red clay knoll and named it "Ruby Hill". By 1889, Ruby Hill Winery had become one of the largest producers of wine in the Livermore Valley.

Over the years, the winery changed ownership several times, and it even survived Prohibition and a fire that almost destroyed it all. However, in 1989, the winery burned down in a fire and was later converted into a computer center. It wasn't until the early 2000s that the winery was rebuilt and restored to its former glory.

Estate Vineyards and Growth

Today, Ruby Hill Winery boasts a 400-acre estate vineyard, which produces some of the finest grapes in the region. The winery is known for its award-winning wines, including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Merlot.

In addition to its estate vineyards, Ruby Hill Winery also sources grapes from other vineyards in the Livermore Valley. The winery has grown significantly over the years, and it now produces over 20,000 cases of wine annually.

Despite its growth, Ruby Hill Winery remains committed to its roots and continues to produce high-quality wines that reflect the unique terroir of the Livermore Valley.

Wine Production

Winemaking Process

The winemaking process at Ruby Hill Winery is a meticulous and carefully controlled process that ensures that only the highest quality wines are produced. The grapes are handpicked and sorted to ensure that only the best fruit is used. The winemaker oversees the entire process, from the crushing of the grapes to the aging of the wine.

Once the grapes have been harvested, they are crushed and the juice is extracted. The juice is then fermented in stainless steel tanks, which allows for precise temperature control and ensures that the wine retains its fresh, fruity flavors. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is aged in oak barrels for several months to allow the flavors to develop and mature.

Varietals and Harvest

Ruby Hill Winery produces a wide variety of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Zinfandel. Each varietal is carefully crafted to bring out the unique characteristics of the grape.

The winery's estate vineyard is certified sustainable, which means that the grapes are grown using environmentally friendly practices. The winemaker lives on the property, which allows for meticulous attention to every detail of the growing process. The grapes are handpicked and sorted to ensure that only the best fruit is used for winemaking.

The harvest typically takes place in September and October, when the grapes have reached their peak ripeness. The grapes are picked by hand and transported to the winery, where they are sorted and processed. The winemaker oversees the entire process, ensuring that only the highest quality fruit is used for winemaking.

Overall, Ruby Hill Winery's commitment to quality and sustainability is evident in every bottle of wine they produce. From the careful selection of grapes to the meticulous winemaking process, every step is taken to ensure that only the best wines are produced.

Tasting Room and Visitor Experience

Ruby Hill Winery offers a unique tasting room experience that will leave visitors impressed. The winery is located in Pleasanton, California, and boasts a beautiful location with stunning views of the vineyards. The tasting room is open seven days a week, and reservations are required on Saturdays and Sundays only. Visitors can book their experience quickly and easily via Tock or by emailing the experienced managers at [email protected] or calling (925) 931-9463.

Wine Tasting Options

Ruby Hill Winery offers a variety of wine tasting options that cater to different preferences and budgets. The general tasting flight costs between $25 and $35 per person and includes a selection of wines that showcase the winery's best offerings. Visitors can also choose to indulge in the Reserve Tasting and Jewel Tasting options, which range from $15 to $20 per person and include seven samples.

Guided Tours

For visitors who want to learn more about the winemaking process, Ruby Hill Winery offers guided tours of their vineyards and production facility. The Mello Cielo Vineyard Experience is a comprehensive two-hour excursion that takes visitors through the vineyards and production facility. The tour begins at the tasting room, where visitors board the Mello Cielo Bus and enjoy a scenic ride through the vineyards. The tour guide provides an in-depth explanation of the winemaking process and the history of the winery. Visitors can also enjoy a tasting of the winery's best wines during the tour.

In conclusion, the tasting room and visitor experience at Ruby Hill Winery are unparalleled. With a variety of wine tasting options and guided tours, visitors can indulge in the winery's best offerings while learning about the winemaking process. The winery's beautiful location and stunning views of the vineyards make for a memorable experience that visitors won't forget.

Wine Club and Membership

Ruby Hill Winery offers a Wine Club membership program that provides exclusive benefits to its members. The club has two tiers, the Jewel Wine Club and the Estate Wine Club. Both clubs offer quarterly releases of hand-selected wines, including limited edition and pre-release wines.

Membership Benefits

Wine Club members receive many benefits, including 20% off all Jewel Collection Wine purchases and 15% off all other wine purchases. Members also receive 10% off all retail merchandise and complimentary tastings for up to four people.

In addition, members receive exclusive access to events and promotions, such as member-only wine tastings and winery tours. Members can also participate in wine pairing events, where they can enjoy a selection of wines paired with delicious food.

Exclusive Events

Ruby Hill Winery hosts exclusive events for its Wine Club members, including release parties, holiday events, and wine pairing dinners. The winery also hosts an annual member appreciation party, where members can enjoy live music, food, and wine tastings.

Overall, the Wine Club membership program at Ruby Hill Winery provides members with a range of benefits and exclusive access to events and promotions. Becoming a Wine Club member is an excellent way to experience the best of what the winery has to offer.

Wine Selection and Offerings

Ruby Hill Winery offers a wide variety of high-quality wines at a great value. Their wine selection includes red, white, and rosé wines, as well as sparkling wines and dessert wines.

One of their featured wines is the 2020 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and has a rating of 92. It has a deep, rich flavor with notes of blackberry, vanilla, and oak. Another featured wine is the 2020 Jewel Collection Zinfandel, which has a rating of 90. This wine is made from 100% Zinfandel grapes and has a bold, spicy flavor with notes of black cherry and pepper.

Awards and Recognition

Ruby Hill Winery has received numerous awards and recognition for their wines. The 2020 Jewel Collection Cabernet Sauvignon has a rating of 93 and was awarded a gold medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The 2020 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was also awarded a gold medal at the 2023 Livermore Valley Wine Competition.

Overall, Ruby Hill Winery offers a great selection of high-quality wines at a great value. Their wines have received numerous awards and recognition, making them a great choice for wine enthusiasts looking for quality wines.

Buying and Shipping

Online Purchases

Ruby Hill Winery offers a convenient online purchasing option for customers who want to order their favorite wines from the comfort of their homes. Customers can easily browse through the winery's selection of wines and choose the ones they want to purchase. The website also provides detailed information about each wine, including tasting notes, food pairing suggestions, and customer reviews.

Shipping Policies

Ruby Hill Winery ships its wines to customers across the United States. The winery offers complimentary ground shipping on orders of six or more bottles. Customers can also choose to upgrade their shipping to expedited options for an additional fee.

It is important to note that shipping laws and regulations vary by state, and some states do not permit direct-to-consumer wine shipments. Customers are responsible for ensuring that their state allows direct-to-consumer wine shipments before placing an order. Ruby Hill Winery cannot ship to states where direct-to-consumer wine shipments are prohibited by law.

To ensure that customers receive their wine orders in a timely and safe manner, Ruby Hill Winery carefully packages each shipment. The winery uses special packaging materials to protect the wine bottles during transit and to maintain the quality of the wine. Customers can track their shipments online and receive updates on the delivery status of their orders.

Overall, Ruby Hill Winery provides a convenient and reliable online purchasing and shipping experience for customers who want to enjoy their favorite wines from the comfort of their own homes.

Educational Programs

Ruby Hill Winery offers a range of educational programs for wine enthusiasts. These programs are designed to enhance the knowledge and appreciation of wine, as well as provide an unforgettable experience for visitors.

Wine Education

Ruby Hill Winery offers wine education programs that are perfect for both beginners and experts. The programs offer an opportunity to learn about the history of winemaking, the different types of wine, and the best food pairings for each wine. The winery also offers tours of the vineyards, which provide visitors with an understanding of the winemaking process from grape to bottle.

Blind Tasting Workshops

Ruby Hill Winery offers blind tasting workshops, which are perfect for those who want to take their wine knowledge to the next level. These workshops are designed to teach participants how to identify different wines by taste and aroma alone. Participants are given a set of wines to taste, and they must identify the grape variety, region, and vintage of each wine. The blind tasting workshops are a fun and interactive way to learn about wine, and they are perfect for groups of friends or corporate team-building events.

The winery also offers peer-group flights, which are perfect for those who want to compare their tasting notes with others. Participants are given a set of wines to taste, and they must discuss and compare their tasting notes with the other participants. This is a great way to learn about the different tastes and aromas of wine, as well as to develop a deeper appreciation for the art of winemaking.

Personalized Wine Matches

Ruby Hill Winery offers personalized wine matches, which are perfect for those who want to find the perfect wine for their taste preferences. Participants are given a questionnaire to fill out, which asks about their taste preferences, food pairings, and favorite wines. Based on the responses, the winery's wine experts will create a personalized wine match for each participant. This is a great way to discover new wines that are tailored to your taste preferences, and it's a fun and interactive way to learn about wine.

Sustainability and Vineyard Practices

Ruby Hill Winery is committed to sustainability and responsible vineyard practices. The winery takes pride in growing grapes in a California Certified Sustainable Vineyard. They are devoted to careful use of resources and take the purity of their fruit and the stewardship of the land seriously.

Microclimate and Terroir

Ruby Hill Winery is located in the Livermore Valley Appellation, which is known for its unique microclimate and terroir. The region is influenced by the San Francisco Bay, which brings in cool air and fog, creating a climate that is ideal for growing grapes. The winery's Estate Vineyards are situated on the eastern side of the valley, where the soils are well drained and the vines receive ample sunshine.

Sustainable Farming

Ruby Hill Winery uses sustainable farming practices to ensure the long-term health of their vineyards and the environment. They recycle, use solar power, and are constantly looking for ways to cut back on waste and care for the planet. The winery's boxes are made from recycled cardboard, and all of their wine corks are made from a by-product of sugarcane production that otherwise goes to waste.

In addition to sustainable farming practices, Ruby Hill Winery also values handpicking during harvest to support the quality of their grapes and the sustainability of their practices. They take pride in their commitment to sustainability and continue to look for ways to improve their vineyard practices.

Contact and Visiting Information

Opening Hours

Ruby Hill Winery is open seven days a week, from 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Tasting reservations are required on Saturday and Sunday only. Visitors can book their experience quickly and easily via Tock. Alternatively, visitors can email the winery at [email protected] or call them at (925) 931-9463 to speak to one of their experienced managers.

Location and Directions

Ruby Hill Winery is located at 400 Vineyard Avenue, Pleasanton, CA 94566. It is easily accessible by car, and visitors can use Google Maps or Waze to get directions. The winery has ample parking space available, and parking is free of charge.

The winery is situated in the beautiful Livermore Valley, surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely drive through the valley, taking in the scenic views, before arriving at the winery.

Overall, Ruby Hill Winery is a must-visit destination for anyone who enjoys high-end, elegant, and approachable handcrafted wines. With its beautiful location, friendly staff, and excellent wines, it is the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening with friends and family.