The Yard of the Rising Sun-Rubin Family of Wines

It is easy to see where they get their name. The new leaves unfold as the earliest colors of the sun: waxy yellow, pink grapefruit, apricot, chartreuse and key lime. Splashes of citrus fade, the greens deepen. The Rising Sun Redbud borders our deck and is a family favorite.

A few weeks ago, when the leaves were at peak, I opened the 2015 Ron Rubin Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Blanc. I swirled and sniffed and quaffed and stared. If this wine were a tree, it would be the Rising Sun Redbud. Each sip deepened the connection.

In the glass, the colors of the leaves, pale chartreuse, like the skin of Yellow Transparent apples. The notes of apple continue on the palate and with it, the citrus. Perhaps cardamom? There was a clean savory note I couldn’t quite place until my husband brought me a clipping of lemon thyme from our garden. That was it, so clearly. I thoroughly enjoyed this wine.

The winds shifted this weekend, bringing us a cooler lapse, and with it an opportunity to open the other wine I’d received in the shipment. My spec sheet said Pinot Noir so I planned the meal accordingly only to pull the bottle and find it was a 2013 Green Valley Cool Climate Syrah. While the Portobello risotto pairing may not have worked the way I’d hope, the wine still made an impression. And since this past weekend was Earth Day, I decided to approach the remaining wines in the same manner. If this wine were a tree, specifically a tree in my yard, which would it be?

This wine is concise. Deep berry and spice, without being heavy. Black perfumed fruit, exotic notes, round tannins. If this wine were a tree, it would be a Texas Persimmon. The leaves small but clustered, sturdy in structure and depth of color hang on silvery branches. The fruit, small but rich, begins green and turns nearly black. Some hold their leaves throughout most of the year, almost evergreen.  Below the tree sits a new plant. When wandering through the yard to find a match, my daughter was drawn to it. If this wine were a plant, it would be a Black and Blue salvia.

Texas persimmon photo courtesy of Pam Penick/Digging

We continued with the cans. Yes, the cans.  I was hesitant, but impressed. The Ball Wine Can leaves no metallic finish, which I feared. The California Red Blend was fresh and approachable. Nice red and black fruit, easy to pair and enjoy in several settings. The Chardonnay, both oaked and unoaked, were balanced, floral, tropical. While a little sweet for my taste but I can see a wide appeal for them. And I am a big fan of the one-serving, no-glass-to-break concept. I can see these at the pool, kayaking, camping, or when you just want one glass.  The cute little cans did not stand out as trees, but as plants. The red, Hot lips salvia. The Unoaked Chardonnay, Blackfoot daisies. The Chardonnay, the jasmine vine.

The Pinot Blanc dictated its own story, the significance of the day continued the trend. The Rubin family’s commitment to sustainability, both in the vineyard and the winery, furthered the pull. The wines were sent by Diaz Communications. If you know Jo, her garden, too, speaks wisdom and wonder. While Earth Day has passed, I encourage you to spend some time with a glass in the garden. Listen, learn, and lean in to the beauty. Cheers!


The wines were received as media samples. I received no other compensation. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

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