Winery Visit: Arnot-Roberts & Ryme Open House(s)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAArnot-Roberts is a magical unicorn amongst California wine-makers. It all started in 2001 when two childhood friends Duncan (Arnot) Meyers and Nathan Lee (Roberts) started their wine-making operation in Healdsburg. The two of them are producing a microscopic 2000 cases per year, a total of thirteen (!) different wines. Theirs are considered the best of the best amongst natural California wines and their tasting room is not open to the public. The only times you can get to see the facility is either on a pick-up day (if you get on their mailing list, you will be notified of new releases and can schedule to pick up your wine twice a year) or during their open house, which was just this last weekend. Colleen and I were lucky enough to make it over there both times.

Arnot-Roberts is very well-known for their Syrah, which they ferment 100% whole cluster and age only on French Oak. They also produce some very elegant Cabernet Sauvignon, a super fresh & fun rosé (of Touriga Nacional and Tinta Cao), Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, and a white field blend (our personal favorite). You can find their delicious wines at a few retailers in the Bay Area but the best way to get their wines is by joining their mailing list and receiving an allocation email each time their new wines are released. You can join their mailing list here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese guys really know how to put on a party. The food was fantastic! There were platters of charcuterie, cheeses, what I am certain was artisinal bread, warm omeletes with seasonal vegetables and plenty of wine, of course. Even the white cloth tables were decorated with lovely pink peonies and roses.

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Colleen and I were having the best time. After all, it’s not often we are lucky enough to try so many Arnot-Roberts wines in one sitting. However, we overheard that Ryme Cellars was also having an open house, so we hastily finished our Meyer lemonade and made a bee-line for my car so we could get to the Ryme winery before their open house was over.

I first heard about Ryme’s wines while I was picking up my allocation from Wind Gap, with whom they share a wine-making facility in Forestville. Ryme is a husband-and-wife operation run by Ryan & Megan Glaab. Ryan is the assistant winemaker for Pax Mahle, the owner and wine maker for Wind Gap. Ryme produces wines from obscure varietals such as Ribolla Gialla, Aglianico & Vermentino. Their second label, Verse, produces Sonoma Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We were quite excited for the opportunity to try a pretty complete line-up during our visit. I particularly enjoyed their 2010 Ribolla Gialla which was a lovely amber color from the month it spent macerating on the skins post-fermentation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAColleen wanted to buy all of the wines. I had to hold her back so that we didn’t overload my tiny little car so full of wine that the bumper scraped the ground (between the two of us, we have been pretty close). We settled on a bottle of the Ribolla Gialla.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe are excited to see what else Ryme has up their sleeves. They have only been producing wine since 2007, which means they are just getting started and will hopefully wow and zow us with all sorts of crazy wine in the years to come. Definitely call them up and stop in for a tasting (by advance appointment) if you are in the Forestville area, you won’t be disappointed. I have also seen their wines for sale at Arlequin Wine Merchant in San Francisco.

Until next time!