Rabbit Ridge CA Barrel Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon 2000
In 1981, Erich opened Rabbit Ridge Winery and Vineyards in Healdsburg, California named after his college track nickname, "The Rabbit". Rabbit Ridge became a successful, cult winery producing up to 250 thousand cases per year. The winery continued growing and producing wine in Sonoma County until all operations were moved to beautiful Paso Robles, on the Central Coast of California. In 1998, Erich met his wife Joanne James, a lifelong resident of St. Petersburg Florida, while promoting Rabbit Ridge wines at one of Disney's top restaurants. Joanne was interviewing with Rabbit Ridge's wine distributor at the same time, and the two met. Having graduated from Northeast High School and Eckerd College, Joanne was working as a runway model and had her own catering business, along with a fledgling interest in good wine. Erich and Joanne were married in 1999 and maintained a residence in St. Petersburg while Joanne's daughter grew up, completed high school and went off to college. Joanne's daughter has since graduated from college Suma cum laude and now works for Rabbit Ridge in Paso Robles. In 2001, Erich and Joanne began construction on their new winery on San Marcos Road. Erich had always wanted a winery that was high-tech with all the bells and whistles. The couple took design ideas from their trips to Tuscany and the Mediterranean and implemented them to get the look they wanted for the Paso Robles winery - Regal and Old-World. After years of national and international distribution, Erich and Joanne decided to down-size to the level of the "good ol' days" and get out of the "rat race." Today, Erich and Joanne produce 10 thousand cases per year and farm 200 acres of premium grapes, all grown on the west side of Paso Robles, California.
While Sonoma County is acclaimed—and rightfully so—for its Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, and Zinfandels, it also produces exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. Of the region’s 18 American Viticultural Areas, only a handful produce top-notch Cabernet Sauvignon. These appellations include Alexander Valley, Knights Valley, Sonoma Valley and Dry Creek Valley. Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignons made in these appellations can offer a complex array of aromas and flavors. Fruit notes such as blackberry, blackcurrant, cassis, black cherry and raspberry often are accompanied by hints of graphite, dusty earth, cigar box, toast and vanilla. The varietal has a rich history in Sonoma, and some of these Cabernet Sauvignons and Cabernet-based blends rival the best from Napa Valley.