Snows Crossing is a dramatic, sloping vineyard perched at 3100 feet in the rugged El Dorado County AVA. Jason harvested the grapes on the morning of August 18th, allowing them to rest for 24 hours before treating them to a light foot treading — the traditional (and hard to improve upon) method of crushing grapes. The juice was then left to soak on the skins for an additional 24 hours. For rosé, this period of gentle extraction is where the magic happens, largely determining the color, flavor intensity and overall character of the resulting wine. The juice was then pressed to amphorae (traditional vase-like clay vessels) to begin primary fermentation. Aging (“elevage” to the French) lasted 11 months in neutral oak barrels.
Most would agree that the climate crisis demands drastic and immediate action. Yet few have staked their careers on it. Jason Ruppert has — and thankfully, he’s not alone. As a result, American wine is entering a vibrant new era of sustainability. Jason's path to winemaking was far from straightforward. First came the sommelier years — a celebrated career at top restaurants in Sonoma and San Francisco. Then came the farming and winemaking apprenticeships (his Rolodex of mentors includes industry greats like Ted Lemon, Steve Matthiasson, Pax Mahle, Laura Brennan, Scott Schultz, Jaimee Motley, Ryan and Megan Glaab). Finally, in 2018, he founded Ardure with a mission of elevating the status of American hybrid varieties. Long overlooked, American hybrids — hardy and disease-resistant crossings of European and North American grapes — are just beginning to receive the recognition they deserve. Not only are they delicious — they answer one of wine's most pressing questions: How to navigate our extreme and increasingly unpredictable climate reality? Jason Ruppert is a natural winemaker of the highest order, which means vineyard work is arduous (he does everything himself, all by hand) and cellar work is a breeze — at least in theory. Zero zero winemaking (no added sulphites) can be agonizingly unpredictable, and thus requires the constant vigilance of a helicopter parent. And then there are the crystals — Rose Quartz, Fluorite, Labradorite and Shungite — which Jason places on top of amphorae lids to repel EMFs and add energy and vibrancy to the finished wines.