Welcome to Rucksack Cellars

Comfortable and worn, a rucksack embodies our desire to discover life away from the ordinary.  It is with this same spirit of discovery that we produce our wines, each an expression of the varied climate and soils of the Sierra Foothills appellation.  Join us as we explore this exciting world of wine.

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Rucksack Quilt

quilt-trail-at-rucksack-678x1024Rucksack Cellars finally got their quilt hung on the building and officially joined the Quilt Trail of El Dorado County.  Thank you to Kathleen Callaghan Mendenhall for writing this great article on it!

Mt Democrat Article – November 21, 2017

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July…well August Club Shipment

SignDear Rucksack Cellars’ Wine Club Members,

Our long-awaited second release of wines from Rucksack Cellars is now available. The July (well now August) Shipment has almost squeaked into July on wines that are predominantly sold out. In other words, we’ve held back some wines just for our Club Members.

You can pick up your wines at Rucksack Cellars, Friday through Sunday from 12-5pm. If you happen to be in the area on one of the days we’re closed, we also have your shipment available at Madroña during tasting room hours. (The cost of this shipment of three bottles is $57.60 plus tax, and you have until September 30th to pick up your wine. But you’ll want it before then!) Continue reading

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A Day of Rosé

A Day of Rosé

Lavender 1Last Saturday, thirty-two people chose to spend a very warm Saturday trompsing around the vineyards and exploring the world of Rosé. It was a joint Madroña/Rucksack Cellars event (Progressing in Provence) celebrating the need for these light and vibrant wines during the warm summer months.

To be honest, we hadn’t planned on having such heat (near 95º) that day, but there are few wines that could have handled the challenge!

The concept was to do a walking tour of the vineyards at Rucksack Cellars while tasting different Rosés and different pairings. As a first-time event, you never know if the challenges will out-weigh the opportunities. In other words, would overcoming the heat and logistics be balanced out by enjoyment, relaxation and education?

From all the responses of attendees and the winery family, it was a resounding success.

We all started at the Rucksack Cellars outdoor tasting area, overlooking the vineyards. A quick speech highlighting the intentions of the day, and we all started the experience. The first pairing was the 2016 Rucksack Cellars Barbera Rosé paired with Mexican Street Corn.

This incredible pairing highlights the sweet white corn with a rich creamy sauce and just a hint of heat. Not only is this perfect for a warm summer day, but the Barbera Rosé tamed the heat while brightening its own high-tone fruit. A few questions about vineyards and Rosé styles, and we were off to our next station.

Split into two 15-person groups, we staggered the tours of the vineyards (through the Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc blocks) while Paul explained that being organic often means having more cover crop (weeds) under the vines (with lots of hand-waving).

Labender 2The second station took Madroña’s 2016 Grenache Rosé (a bright, tart and refreshing wine) and paired it with three cheeses. Cheese is often a more difficult pairing than people expect, but each cheese highlighted a different experience and expression (in both the wine and the cheese). The first cheese, Délice de Bourgogne, tended to richen the wine and smooth out its finish. The second cheese, Drunken Goat, was a pairing that allowed both the cheese and the Grenache Rosé to hold their own characters side by side. And the third cheese was a wonderful pairing. Midnight Moon (the cheese) integrated beautifully into the wine, intensifying the strawberry aspects of the Grenache while rounding out the finish slightly.

This station under the trees of the Rucksack cottage gave everyone a sense of what it’s like to live near the vineyards surrounded by majestic pine and cedar trees.

The final station featured Ryan’s 2015 Madroña Zinfandel Rosé (we had held back 7 cases of this wine in the library). With just a hint of age, this vibrant Zinfandel Rosé has mellowed into a positively beautiful wine. We often don’t think to age Rosés, but with all their acidity, they can be spectacular! And it was!

Now it was time to relax. Let’s set the scene. At Rucksack Cellars near our house, we have 5 old large walnut trees draping over a green lawn. With picnic tables spread around, we all had our boxed lunches of Caprese salad sandwiches, fruit and more with a glass of whatever wine pleased us from the day. And we relaxed, talked, laughed and enjoyed the coolness of the afternoon amongst Maggie’s fresh cut lavender and refreshing wines!

A bit of Provence in Placerville (or Camino), does it get any better than this?  Now you’ll have to wait until next year.

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Rucksack Ribbon Cutting


Join us for the Rucksack Cellars Ribbon Cutting!

June 1st 4-6pm

We are excited to have this venture get off the ground and to prove it – we are having an official Ribbon Cutting!  We hope you will join us Thursday afternoon from 4-6 to help us celebrate!

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Open Memorial Day Weekend

Rucksack Cellars is open Memorial Day Weekend from 12-5 each day!  We hope to see you here – it is going to be a beautiful weekend!  And check out this article in our local paper!

Mountain Democrat – May 26, 2017 – Rucksack Cellars – A New Winery and A New Concept

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Open This Weekend!

SignRucksack Cellars will be open today, May 12th through May 14th!   12-5 each day.

This week we are pouring:

2016 Chenin Blanc (Just Released)

2016 Barbera Rose

2015 Zinfandel

2013 Cache

2014 Barbera

Come out and enjoy!


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Our First Recipe

A year of so many firsts!  We will be joining Passport 2017 for the first time this year!  And now Ryan has crafted our first recipe that pairs with the Rucksack Wines.  What we love about this recipe is that is pairs beautifully with ALL, yes ALL the wines!

We hope to see you at Passport 2017, but it you cannot attend, check out the recipe here!  It’s sure to delight your taste buds!  Ryan’s Sausage and Bacon Cassoulet-formatted

P.S. Rucksack will be open for Passport attendees only April 23-23 and 29-30, but will open to the public on May 5th.  Stay tuned for information on our ribbon cutting!

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The Inaugural Rucksack Cellars Spring Wine Club Selection

March, 2017

As many people know, one of the basic ideas behind Rucksack Cellars is to get people exploring the Sierra Foothills through wine.  Not only is our appellation wonderfully diverse, but the expression of the foothills is truly unique. You, as one of the original members (with emphasis on “origin”), have expressed your interest in learning more about the Sierra Foothills.

We knew that the selection of wines for our inaugural shipment needed to something truly as special as our region.  Thus we have chosen wines with styles found nowhere else in the world: a cellared white wine, a red wine embracing its acidity, and a red with an expression of elegance from a variety most often pushed over its limits.

Continue reading

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Passport 2017

passport-201745-croppedWe are excited to announce that Rucksack Cellars will be participating in Passport Weekend, sponsored by the El Dorado Winery Association.  Rucksack will be open to only Passport participants the weekends of April 22 -23 and April 29-30, 2017.

Passport tickets can be purchased through El Dorado Winery Association’s web page .  You can use the coupon code RUCKSACK and receive $5 discount off of your ticket purchase.  For more information, call 916-862-0956.

We are planning a fun visit for our first year out.  We will be featuring Ryan’s Rustic Bacon and Sausage Cassoulet along with our new vintages of Pinot Noir, Barbera Rose, Chardonnay and Zinfandel!  We will also feature futures on our very first vintage of Rucksack Cellars Cabernet Franc!

So don’t miss out and get your tickets now!

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Open This Weekend

fall-tasting-area-2Rucksack is open this weekend from Friday -Sunday, 11-5.  Stop by and enjoy the beautiful fall days with our outdoor tasting experience!  We look forward to seeing you here!

We are tasting 5 wines for $5.00 and you get to keep the go-vino glass.  We are working on being paperless and sustainable, so bring your glass back and the tasting is complimentary!

This week’s line-up of five wines includes our Chardonnay, Barbera-Rose, Seco, Cache, and Barbera!  Come explore with us!

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