Circa 1850, Adrian’s great-great-great grandfather, Charles Jewell, and his brother Thomas, competitively raced steam boats on the Ohio River. One race in particular they were neck-in-neck with the other boat. To send them over the line to win the race and the competitor’s boat, they burned their valuable Chippendale furniture in the furnace. The race winnings totaled $80,000, about $3.5 million in today’s money.
Growing up Adrian’s father wore a special ring won by Charles and Thomas with a ruby gem in it. When Adrian blends the Rubies cuvée each year, he aims for the final wine to shine with a ruby hue like his father’s ring.
On the heels of 2020, which was a rollercoaster of difficult decisions due to COVID and late-season fires, it wasn’t hard to have a vintage that seemed great. In hindsight, however, 2021 was the vintage of a lifetime. We had a dry and cold winter that was followed by a warm spring which led to a balanced fruit set. The lack of rain created smaller yields and more concentrated fruit. We had a very cool August and September, allowing the vines to fully develop phenolic ripeness without compromising the acidity or aromatics in the wines. With time, the 2021 Vintage will prove to be one of the best vintages in California history for Pinot Noir.
For each vintage, we select the best barrels and age the wine for 18 months in French Oak before bottling without fining or filtration. Our goal is to capture the purity and precision of each vintage from our home here in the Russian River. The 2019 vintage is made up of four vineyards, Starscape, Bucher, Hallberg, and 800 Vines, consisting of five clones of Pinot Noir, Martini, Dijon 115, Dijon 777, Pommard, and Swan.