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.

Our first wine, the 2013 Maranne-Rousanne Rucksack Cellars is that wonderful combination of sister varieties originating in Rhône Valley of France. For us, we have discovered that these two varieties marry the rounded palate and subtle fruit of Marsanne exquisitely with the more tropical nature of Roussanne. Both relatively rich and unctuous wines (with higher pH levels), this inherently luscious texture fills the senses. But here’s the kicker—it’s the cellaring of this wine that brings it all together. At just under four years old, the two varieties are just starting to intertwine into a seamless wine. Marsanne and Roussanne age impeccably well, and this expression of the Sierra Foothills is just coming into its own!

The second wine in this spring’s selection is our 2014 Barbera Rucksack Vineyards. Undoubtedly one of the most successful varieties of the Sierra Foothills, Barberas can be found in almost all of the appellations making up the Sierra Foothill appellation. The characters of dark cherry and berry fruit can be found in each wine, but our 2014 sets itself apart as a wine that embraces the variety’s naturally higher acidity. With a nod to our warmer California days and a wink to classic Italian elegance, our Rucksack Barbera has the dense intensity framed with vibrant acidity, all within a softer tannin palate. This Barbera is the quintessential food wine!

The third wine to grace your shipment is the 2014 Pinot Noir Rucksack Cellars. The hallmark of this mountain-grown Pinot is its purity. Enticingly complex, the fruit is layered with spice and earthy notes throughout. Pinot Noir is so often “over-done” and manipulated to be a mere shadow of the variety, but this wine expresses the essence of variety when grown in the high-acid soils of the Sierra Nevada. And with such a small production (23 cases), getting a taste of this wine before the masses made it a “must-have” in our first club shipment.

We truly hope you enjoy the Spring 2017 Rucksack Cellars Wine Club Shipment, and may live the Sierras with each sip.



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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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Rucksack is Open

This weekend, we had a very soft opening, to see how things would work, and we were thrilled with the outpouring of support!  We look forward to seeing you here at the outdoor tasting room sometime in the future!

Open Thursday-Sunday – 11-5pm.

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A Snapshot of the Vineyards

It’s hard to believe that just two years ago, I was in France pouring our Malbec at the International Malbec Days while Maggie was home planting the new vineyards at Rucksack. We had removed the old, cut-over Christmas tree farm, prepared the land (disked and cross-disked), and proceeded to plant just over 4 acres of Cabernet Franc and an acre of Chenin Blanc. OK, yes, my job was easy as I was eating and drinking in France while Maggie was actually sweating in the fields and repairing broken equipment. But let’s not digress…

DSC_6515So a snapshot today of the same piece of land would show something entirely different.

  1. An irrigation system that not only waters the entire vineyard, but is immediately expandable to irrigate the 6 fallow acres yet to be planted
  2. A vertical-shoot positioned (VSP) trellising system with one fruiting wire and six-positioning wires
  3. A maintained natural cover crop (as we see what we have), mowed down to a manageable level
  4. Cabernet Franc vines that are reaching for the heavens if not already out on the fruiting wire
  5. Four rows of Chenin Blanc ready to produce some grapes this year
  6. Most of the block of Chenin Blanc was grafted this year, expecting a crop next year
  7. And two rows of our old clone of Thompson Seedless from Madroña planted for pure enjoyment

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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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Projected Opening

2010-02-05 05.28.34Hello Rucksack Fans!

It looks like the scheduled opening for Rucksack will be in June 2016!  We are excited to share the new wines that will be ready for you!  Check back as we get the information up on them, but for now, you can purchase them through the Madrona Store!

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