Muscat Canelli 2021
The grapes — picked in late August — were sourced from the high-elevation Luchsinger Vineyard in Clear Lake, California (a sub-appellation of Lake County AVA). Following a 24-hour resting period, Jason destemmed the fruit and left the whole berries to ferment for 10 days. Next he pressed the still-fermenting juice into two California-made amphorae (large clay urn-like vessels) to finish primary fermentation and begin malolactic conversion — the process by which tart malic acid (think green apples) becomes creamier lactic acid (yogurt). Aged for 11 months. Unfined, unfiltered, zero zero (no sulfites added). 11.5% alcohol.
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.