Two acres of Cortese are farmed at Fox Hill Vineyard. That's roughly 1/6th of all Cortese planted in the United States. Cortese will always be a rarity here, but Cortese with 6(+) months of skin contact doubles down on the uncommonness of it all. Chilion is a chance for all to see just how incredibly complex this variety is...due mainly to the extended maceration on skins which provide amplified spice, herbs, and phenolics than we're all accustomed to with this particular grape.
Vineyard Size: 1.60 hectares
Average Age of Vines: 17 years
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: 8 week maceration, spontaneous fermentation in polyethylene and neutral barrels with indigenous yeasts
Aging: in polyethylene
Added S02: none
WHO IS RUTH?
I've said it a thousand different ways since the beginning of Ruth Lewandowski Wines, and I think its most comprehensible to explain “Ruth” as a concept more than a living, breathing individual. A concept born out of the affiliation of my own philosophies of farming and winemaking (which indeed spill over to inform so many of my life beliefs) and one small but very significant text in the Old Testament of the Bible, the book of Ruth. Without sounding 'preachy' and so as not to offend the sensitive, and in the interest of concisely summing things up, I don't believe there to be a deeper, more compelling depiction of the natural cycle of death and redemption (both in the physical realm we can see and the spiritual realm we often do not) than this one short book.
Death is, indeed, the engine of life
Nothing that is alive today could be so without something having died first. This is the redemptive nature of our universe, of our planet, of our soils, plants, and ultimately you and I. The cessation of things is necessary to begin anew, even more fully. From the wreckage of death and tragedy at the beginning of the book of Ruth, a young woman finds life, finds beauty and is able to truly live....not simply in spite of the death, but because the death occurred at all. The regeneration of the life of our soils occurs only through organic matter...all completely dead, broken down carbon-based items. A natural fermentation is the building up and dying off of multiple strains of yeast and bacteria, each paving the way for the next strain to take over (and each leaving their altogether unique signatures of flavor, aroma, and textural compounds).
Who is Ruth? Well, with this sort of explanation, I suppose I could say that there is a bit of Ruth in all of us.
After working at Binner in Alsace for several years, Evan Lewandowski moved back to Utah to start making his own wine. Using fruit grown at Fox Hill Vineyards and Testa Vineyards in Mendocino county, Evan begins fermentation in California then transports his fermenting juice in a refrigerated U-Haul to his home in Salt Lake City where he completes the fermentation, aging, and bottling process.
When asked to express his viewpoint on organic winemaking, Evan responds: “A winegrower working incessantly in his/her vines, with a mind focused both on the sky above and the soil below, not just the fruit zone, will naturally come to deeply know their vines and their specific place and inevitably seek to eradicate those things that destroy in favor of choosing to support and encourage life. It must start with these connections in the vineyard. Wine made by these people, the ones earnestly and honestly seeking to know their farms, in the end will be organic wine to me.”
-Zev Rovine Selections