Winery Spotlight: Rued Winery
Dry Creek Valley’s Rued Winery is a family operation through and through; the Rued family has been farming in Sonoma County for six generations, since 1876. The Rueds were a grape growing family in Switzerland, so it was a natural fit when Henry Rued moved to Northern California and began working for the Beringer Brothers in Napa Valley. In 1882, Henry Rued planted his own vineyard.
During prohibition, the family continued to farm, but planted apples, pears and prunes. In 1957, Richard re-established his family’s long ties with grape growing when he took over responsibility for the family’s small plot of grapes on what was now their home estate in Dry Creek Valley. Tending these old vines was at first an agriculture project for his high school, but turned into a livelihood, with Richard replanting his family’s lands from prunes to grapes.
Today the family farms 160 acres of vineyards and mans their own winery. Richard Rued, who began managing the vineyards in 1953, works amongst the vines with his son Tom . At the winery and tasting room in Dry Creek Valley, Richard’s wife Dee, manages the business and tasting room. Richard’s youngest son Steve serves as one half of the winemaking team, together with his wife Sonia.
Steve and Sonia met in 1993 when she traveled from her home in South Africa to work a harvest season in the lab at Dry Creek Vineyard, where Steve worked in the cellar. At the time, Steve, the youngest son of Dee and Richard, worked the cellar at Dry Creek Vineyard. After marrying and each working in a few different wineries, including Dry Creek Valley’s Seghesio Family Vineyard, the couple spearheaded the first vintage of Rued Family wines, made in 2000, and they have worked together ever since.
The winery and home vineyard seen from above
The family’s home vineyard in Dry Creek Valley comprises 70 of the 160 acres they farm. It is planted with cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, and zinfandel. The grapes are used to make their own line of wines, and many remaining tons of are sold to other local winemakers.
In 2006, the Rued family opened their own winery and tasting room. Today, guests can enjoy the fruits of the family’s labor by dropping in for a tasting any day of the week. Visitors may also enjoy picnics and tastings on the scenic patio or take a private guided tour of the winery.