Rucksack July Wine Club Release

It’s interesting that today, on July 8th, the temperature outside is supposed to reach 76 degrees for the high. It’s been a cool summer so far, and we started three weeks late on the budding. If everything ripens by harvest, it should be a spectacular vintage!

But speaking of spectacular, we entered Rucksack wines into the California State Fair and the El Dorado County Fair to help “build the brand”. (This last bit is important simply in the fact that I don’t believe in wine competitions as any representation of the quality for any particular person’s palate. However, when Rucksack does well, my hypocrisy kicks in and I rationalize that finally a competition got the quality aspect correct!)

Of particular note in terms of results, every wine we entered won a medal! The ’16 Zinfandel took Gold at El Dorado and the ’16 Cabernet Franc and ’18 Chenin Blanc both took Golds at the California State Fair. So of course we had to put the Chenin Blanc into your July Club Shipment!

All three wines in this month’s shipment are new and pre-releases. In fact, as a package, you can show-off at a dinner three wines that most probably your friends have yet to try!

2018 Rucksack Cellars Chenin Blanc—This small production lot of dry Chenin Blanc comes straight off Estate at Rucksack. The hints of Bartlett pear, honey and citrus with a wonderfully luscious texture (but still having enough acidity for the freshness) make this a cornucopia of balance. Think scallops with a butter/tarragon sauce as a great pairing!

2018 Rucksack Cellars Barbera Rosé—Bright, fresh, racy, invigorating and dry, this year’s Rosé encapsulates everything we look for in a Rosé. High-tone fruit of cranberry, strawberry and pie cherry fill the aromas while the palate is vibrant with berry/citrus fruit. It’s a go-to wine for us during the summer, and perfect with an intense paella!

2016 Rucksack Cellars Barbera—The mixture of berry fruit characters in this wine highlights the picking decision we made back in 2016. Not overripe or overbearing, it’s all about the purity of fruit. Bright cherry with hints of blackberry and raspberry dominate the nose. The entry onto the palate is almost floral, and then the Barbera freshness kicks in. Having just returned from Italy a month ago, this wine takes me back as it’s almost more expressive of the Barbera than California often tastes. And for this, Pasta Carbonara with its richness and salty/smokiness will be a perfect pairing.

We hope you enjoy the wines, and check out more information (and the upcoming concerts) at   Enjoy!!!

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Thank you!

A great big THANK YOU to everyone who came out for our 1st Open House at Rucksack Cellars.  We absolutely lucked out on the weather, which rather than rain, turned into a spectacular day.  The jerk chicken tacos were fabulous and who knew….churros and Chardonnay?  What a fun and unexpected pairing.  We heard many great comments on the band – the Wild Oak Band from Sacrament.  We hope that you will be able to make it next year!

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Annual Open Houses—Madroña 39, Rucksack 1

Madrona Open House 2019No, it’s not a one-sided baseball score between the Madroña Bushmen and the Rucksack Hikers. And no, it’s not a count of the tasters in the tasting room. Instead, it’s the number of Open Houses we’ll be celebrating this year on May 25th and 26th.

First and foremost, I think you need to absorb in how truly unique this celebration is. We have been hosting an Open House every year at Madroña since 1981. If you can remember that far back, Ronald Reagan was president, the US inflation rate was 10.35%, and the interest rate was 15.75%! And some of you may not even have been born yet! (And if you’re wondering, the 1981 Cabernet Sauvignon is still tasting great!) Continue reading

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1st Annual Open House

2019 Open HouseWe are excited to announce that Rucksack will hold our 1st Annual Open House on Saturday, May 25th from 11-4:30.  We booked a great band – the Wild Oak Band, and your ticket price includes lunch of Jerk Chicken Tacos and Green bean, Tomato and Corn salad.  We will have wine tasting and barrel tasting for the Barbera!  We hope that you will join us.  Tickets can be purchased here Open House Tickets!  Tickets are $15 for the public, and $12 for Club Members.  Tickets at the door (if available) will be $18.00.  We hope to see you at Rucksack!

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Rucksack Club Release 3/19

Dear Rucksack Club Members,

With the start of the 2019 vintage, the weather has given us rain, snow, sleet and wind. In fact, we’ve had nary a sunny day. So is there any wonder as to why Rucksack, with its outdoor tasting area, would be closed until the sunnier days of May? I don’t think so!

But as we started to think about which wines we planned to showcase in our March Rucksack Wine Club, the potential drought and dryness of California is only a blink away. So one, embrace the wetness of 2019 and the promises it brings. And don’t forget the pinnacle of the recent drought years, which was 2015!

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Great Review from

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Thank you CalWineJaunt for including us in your 3 Wineries to Add to Your List Blog!  Here is the part about Rucksack… The Camino wine region may not be the most popular destination in wine magazines, but it’s definitely worth … Continue reading

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Delicious New Barbera Pairing

Chicken and Chickpea Tagine

We are getting ready for our wines that will be featured in the California Wine Club.  Researching, finding, tweaking and editing recipes that will pair with wines is a rough part of our job!

This is the most recent pairing our 2016 Barbera.  Give it a try – it’s delicious!

Barbera – Chicken and Chickpea Tagine

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A Great Summer Pairing

Fritters5-Ingredient Zucchini Fritters

Rucksack Cellars Barbera Rose!

  • 4 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 sliced scallions
  • vegetable oil or olive oil for frying
  • sour cream for serving (optional)
Heat oil over medium-high heat. In mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Cook in pan for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked throughout.
Let cool, serve and enjoy with the Barbera Rose!
Recipe From
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Progressing in Provence

The Progressing in Provence, held June 24th, was a fabulous event with guests learning about Roses, Grenache and wine pairings. We had several requests for the recipes we prepared, so we are linking them here.

Paired with the Barbera Rose – Barbera Rose – Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Paired with the Grenache Rose (from Madrona) –  Fun Things – Cheese Pairings

And just because it was delicious AND did not work with the wines! – Fun Things – Watermelon Soup

We hope that you will join us next year!

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Progressing in Provence

A Rose Celebration!

2015 Barbera RoseOne of our favorite summertime treats is this style of wine; dry with acidity, beautiful light fruit notes, and a color that just reminds us to settle back and enjoy summer.  We like it so much that we have created 3 different Rosés in the past year!  The Rucksack Barbera Rosé, the Madroña Grenache Rosé, and the Rucksack Sweet Rosé.  All three showcase bright, refreshing aspects, but the difference is texture and fruit characters.

To showcase our Rosés, we are hosting a Rosé Walk-about!  Check in at Rucksack Cellars, and stroll to the beautiful walnut trees where you will find Mexican Street Corn paired with our Rucksack Cellars’ Barbera Rosé.  Then stroll again to the cottage and enjoy our Grenache Rosé paired with a watermelon soup and beautiful French cheeses.  Tour the vineyards and we’ll all finish up at Rucksack Cellars where you will not only taste our new Rucksack Sweet Rosé (a multi-varietal blend), but you’ll pick up your boxed “evening lunch” and a glass of wine to savor while overlooking the vineyards.  It’s the best way to celebrate the warm evenings of summer in the Sierras!  (All guests will receive a 20% discount off of any Rosé purchase!)

Limited to 48 people total, 16 people per session.  Tickets are $30/person.

To purchase tickets – click here!  To see our write-up about last year’s event, click here!

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