Deck The Halls With…

An Artificial bare tree frosted with white glass crystals and LED lights in front of stacked pallets of boxes filled with Madrona and Rucksack wines

Lights and Wine…Fa La La La La

Here at Rucksack we are certainly in the Holiday spirit. We have decked out our cellar with as many Christmas lights as we have fuses to hold. I never knew that a storage room, filled with boxes of wine could look so festive.

Come by and check out the glow for yourself and enjoy a wine flight and charcuterie board. Of course…if the weather is nice, we still love to be outside, and may even spark up the fire pit, but as the temperatures continue to drop, or it is wet, we are moving inside more and more.

Don’t forget…Rucksack will be closing for the season on December 17…so if you need those Holiday gifts and wines don’t wait too long, so you don’t miss out.

Posted in Wine | Leave a comment

We Must Be Holiday Tipsy

two bottles of Rucksack 2012 Pinot Noir, one full size bottle and one half bottle.  Framed by a pine tree and a the vineyard in fall colors in the background

So…the last post that I put up mentions two of our three amazing Holiday offers, our four bottle Barbera Vertical (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017) for $85 and our six bottle Cabernet Franc special for $120. Well…we must be feeling the Holiday Spirit because, since that post, we have come up with a third special offer that absolutely can not be missed. We have just released a very limited amount of our 2012 Pinot Noir.

We are releasing full bottles for $48/bottle and half bottles for $24/bottle. This Pinot Noir, just like the Barbera and Cabernet Franc, will be a wonderful accompaniment to all your Holiday meals and the half bottles fit, oh so perfectly, into those stockings.

Hurry in to pick up one, or all three, of these incredibly special offers. We have limited supplies of all these wines and they are surely to go fast!

Posted in Wine | Leave a comment

Two Unbelievable Holiday Offers

A photo of a Rucksack Barbera bottle in the foreground framed by a eluminated and frosty Christmas tree with Rucksack boxes in the background.

Perfect for the wine lovers in your family.

As we approach the holidays, and you are trying to figure out what to get for that special person, or just yourself…I get it, we have some great deals that you will not want to miss.

Rucksack Barbera Vertical:

For those who want to experience how a single variety ages and want to taste how a wine can grow and change over time, or simply compare the profiles of the different vintages…you can purchase a vertical of our 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 Barbera vintages all for $85, a savings of over 12%.

1/2 Case of 2018 Cabernet Franc:

For those who love our Cabernet Franc and just can not have enough to pair with every meal during the holidays, or you want to stuff those stockings for you and 5 of your closest friends and family, we are offering six bottles for $120, a savings of over 15%.

Stop by the Rucksack tasting room, Thursday thru Sunday from 12pm – 5pm, and pick yours up before we close for the season on December 17.

Posted in Wine | Leave a comment

So What Happens Now?

Image of Vineyard rows with yellowing leaves as the vines prepare for winter under a blue sky with wispy clouds.

Now that harvest is done, there is still a lot happening in the vineyards and cellar at Rucksack and Madrona.

All the grapes have been harvested from our vineyards at Madrona, Rucksack and our two Pleasant Valley properties…so what happens now?

Well…there is still a ton going on behind the scenes in the cellar. We are working hard with the juice, that all those grapes provided, to insure that all the 2023 vintages have a strong start to their processes of becoming wines. Some of these tasks include: pressing the wines to make sure we are getting all the juice and flavor out of each grape, pumping over the juice onto their skins to make sure all the color is extracted, adding yeast to begin fermentation along with some organic additives which act as vitamins for the wines. (Don’t we all need our vitamins)

Out in the vineyards we are irrigating, adding natural nutrients to the soils and providing the vines any care that they might require as they soak up the last bits of energy to strengthen and prepare themselves for their long winter slumber. Our hope now is for a long, cold winter where the vines can have uninterrupted sleep and store up energy for the spring.

There is always something going on and it usually involves planning and preparation for the upcoming seasons. Happy Fall everyone and we hope that your upcoming Holiday Season is wonderful and we look forward to seeing you at your next visit to Rucksack Cellars.

Posted in Wine | Leave a comment

Nevada Days…A Wrap!

Photo of four individuals holding up their Nevada State ID's and Rucksack bottles of wine as they enjoyed our celebration of "Nevada Days"

Fun with our friends from the East!

This past weekend, across all of Apple Hill, was our annual community celebration of our neighbors to the east. We welcomed anyone and everyone who resides in the state of Nevada and treated them like; kings, queens, princes, princesses or maybe just club members for the day. (But isn’t that the same thing really???) As their closest “wine country,” we wanted them to know how much we appreciate their patronage.

As it is every year on the anniversary of the founding of the State of Nevada, it was so wonderful to welcome back old friends and catch up, in addition to all the new friends we made and can not wait to see throughout the year.

If you live in Nevada and missed this year’s festivities, keep an eye out for our Nevada Days Celebration 2024, which will always be toward the end of October, right around the foundation date of the state of Nevada.

Posted in Wine | Leave a comment

Why Wait In Line…?

Image of a close-up of grilled panini on a paper plate with the text in front of it reading, "If You're not at're missing out!"

…When you can be enjoying WINE, panini, sweet potato fries and charcuterie.

This is the last Saturday and Sunday (12-4pm) of October, and your last chance to come hang out at Rucksack and enjoy the quiet, relaxed atmosphere of our tasting area overlooking the incredible colors of our beautiful fall vineyard.

We certainly do not want you to miss out on those uniquely Apply Hill experiences. So in between those wonderful farms where you can pick up your locally grown apples, pumpkins, fruits and berries (Don’t forget the chocolates, pies, juices and other treats), stop by Rucksack to re-set, re-charge and relax. We just happen to be perfectly located in between all your favorite farms. If you are new coming up to the area, ask Douglas or anyone else working at Rucksack for our favorite farm recommendations…you might be pleasantly surprised by some hidden gems.

Below are our delicious food options that have been meticulously paired with our wine flight offerings. Oh, and by the way, they are perfectly sized to share amongst your table. (So don’t be afraid to try more than one)

Wine Flight – $15

Sweet Potato Fries and two aioli – $10

Wine and Fry combo – $20

Panini – $15

Charcuterie Board – 22.50 (small) 35.00 (large)

Halloween Candy – FREE

Posted in Wine | Leave a comment

Both Sides Of The Business

Four Images split up into quarters of the entire image.  All images are of the Rucksack Tasting room manager working in the cellar on wine production.  Images are of pump overs, crushing and destemming and tank draining.

Always trying to learn as much as we can so that we can pass it on to you!

Something that we believe is really important for our customers at Rucksack Cellars, is when you come to our tasting room and experience our wine flight, if you have any questions about the wines, we want to be sure that we can answer them to the best of our abilities.

Douglas, our Rucksack tasting room manager, has been apprenticing with Paul in the cellar for just over three years and he brings this knowledge to the Rucksack tasting room. He prides himself in being able to explain to the customers, not only what tasting notes they might experience or good pairings with which the wines might work, but also what went in to the creation of each wine. You can see him in the collage above working with a number of our wines, in the top left and bottom right he is working with either the Syrah or Mourvedre, crushing and destemming as those varieties were picked earlier that day. On the bottom left, he is pumping over some Cabernet Franc and in the top right he is draining the remaining Zinfandel juice off it’s skins, so that the skins can be removed and pressed. All very common sights and tasks in the cellar during harvest season.

Also…being a farmer himself, Douglas just finds all this information really cool. He’s a bit nerdy and we love that about him.

All of this goes into our perpetual goal of making your tasting room experience as fun, educational and comprehensive as possible, maybe you learned a little something in this blog post as well. It is all about making sure that you…our customers…have a wonderful Rucksack experience!

Posted in Wine | Leave a comment

Cornhole Craziness!

Split image.  On the left is a cornhole board with both maroon and forest green been bag sacks.  There is a Rucksack label image on the board.  The image on the right shows four people enjoying the cornhole tournament and sipping wine.

Never let it be said that the threat of a little rain keeps away Cornhole players.

On Sunday October 1, we broke in our two new cornhole board sets with our inaugural Cornhole Tournament…Rucksack Style. Despite the dark clouds passing over, not a drop fell, the temperatures were perfect and fun was definitely had by all!

We had the perfect number of teams and participants for this fun event, and we certainly learned how to improve on it for next time. Teams played in a round robin style, taking breaks between games to sip on our wines and enjoy our Panini and Sweet Potato Fry pairings. What made it such a wonderful afternoon was the tournament being large enough to satisfy those competitive juices and small enough for everyone to chat, laugh and get to know each other. It was also small enough for all the teams to walk away with some home-made prizes…how awesome is that?!?!

Thank you to all the participants and if you missed out but want to play next time, stay tuned because we will definitely be doing this event again.

Posted in Wine | Leave a comment

A Bit of a Facelift

“Wait…was that Rucksack we just flew past on Camino Road, I have always wanted to stop there, but I never knew where it was.”

I literally had an industry customer from another winery, just down the road, say that exact phrase to me. Not to mention, I have heard similar statements from customers since I began managing here in May of this year. We definitely needed to take some action to encourage people to actually stop instead of saying, “well, maybe next time.” So…in the last few weeks, we have been making some changes here at Rucksack to the entry of our tasting area, and it seems to be working!

In addition to some new, more colorful signs that now line the road in front of our tasting area, we have added some flowers, moved our official Apple Hill Growers sign to closer to our actual entrance and a brand new beautiful gate. Curb appeal and easier to find! We want to make sure that you can see and find us as easily as possible.

The Rucksack wines that have always been of the highest quality are now building a reputation that is growing more and more every week and we want to absolutely look the part, and be as welcoming to our customers (our friends) as we can.

Posted in Wine | Leave a comment

Going, Going….Gone!


Come in and pick up the last few bottles (or cases) of a few varieties of which we are running low.

As exciting as it is to be harvesting the next vintages, and it really is, I tried the Chenin Blanc and Riesling today and they are showing the initial signs of being really special. It can also be exciting (and a little sad) when you start selling out of varieties that you released earlier this year. It is exciting because when you sell out of something, you know that people really enjoyed the wines that were created. It can be sad, because you know soon, that wine will be gone and no wine created in the future will ever be EXACTLY the same. That is just a fact of the wine business.

So if any of the following wines are some of YOUR favorites…please come in and get them before they are gone. Remember, all of our wines here at Rucksack are $24 per bottle. 5% off for 6-11 bottles (10% for club members) and 15% off for 12 or more bottles (20% for club members).

Wines we are running low on:

2020 Pinot Noir (less than a case remaining)

2017 Cache (less than a case remaining)

2020 GSM (6 cases)

2022 Barbera Rose (less than a case remaining)

Posted in Wine | Leave a comment