Jason harvested the fruit in late August — sourced from the organically farmed Beveridge Vineyard in a quiet residential neighborhood in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. Following a 24-hour resting period, the whole grape clusters were crushed under foot — the gentle-as-it-gets method for extracting color, tannin and flavor from the skins, seeds and stems. Fermentation initiated, the grapes were left for eight days before being pressed off the skins into handmade California amphora to conclude primary fermentation and begin malolactic conversion (the process by which apple-like malic acid becomes creamier lactic acid). Elevage (France’s poetic term for aging) lasted 11 months. Unfined, unfiltered, zero zero (no sulfites added). 12% abv.
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.