"Three of the niftiest parcels off the Testa Ranch are picked together and are joined in whole cluster fermentation matrimony. Old vine Carignan, very old vine Grenache, and some of the sexiest Cabernet Sauvignon out there come together as one to provide a window into the world of the Testa family and what they've been up to for the last 100-plus years. It's the burliest red of the bunch, but it remains lithe, acid driven and focused."
Italian immigrants Maria and Gaetano Testa planted this property originally in 1912. Their great great granddaughter Maria is the current steward of this superlative ranch just north of Ukiah in Mendocino County. Outstandingly well farmed and mostly dry grown, I can honestly say that I have yet to work with more amazing red fruit on any continent. I harvest old vine Carignan, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon off of the fine alluvial sedimentary soils of the Yokayo series to come up with Boaz each year. I count myself incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to showcase this family's 100-plus year legacy of amazing farming.
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.
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