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Rack & Riddle: Custom Crush and More This certified organic facility fills a niche by providing wineries a practical and affordable way to craft sparkling wine. Its winemakers also craft wines for the Rack & Riddle label.

By Touring and Tasting

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Rack and Riddle

Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services
Hopland, California

When veteran wine executives Rebecca Faust and Bruce Lundquist first toured the inspiring warehouses and vineyards that are now home to Rack & Riddle, they imagined creating a modern winery operation at the site. But almost immediately their imaginations soared higher to a bigger dream: a state-of-the-art custom crush wine facility producing sparkling and still wines; along with their very own premium wine expressions.

It's not easy to make sparkling wine in the traditional méthode champenoise, which requires a secondary fermentation in the bottle. Since it's a specialized process that requires a lot of labor, time, and equipment, many wineries simply don't produce their own sparkling wine. Rack & Riddle removes those barriers, allowing area wineries to create sparkling wines for their portfolios.

Beyond filling a niche in the winemaking world by providing wineries a practical and affordable way to craft sparkling wine, Rack & Riddle's certified organic facility employs three astute winemakers who consult with their clients, and craft wines for the Rack & Riddle label. Penny Gadd-Caster (Jordan Winery and J Winery), Steve Ryan (Magnanimous), and Lynn Chao (Cameron Hughes) bring a range of experiences to the team.

"We cover the winemaking spectrum—sparkling, still, boutique, and large lots—with our talented industry vets who are excellent winemakers," Bruce says.

There are currently five Rack & Riddle sparkling wines and a handful of still single varietal offerings including Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Zinfandel. The 2007 Syrah recently won Bronze in the 2011 Dallas Morning News and TexSom Wine Competition, and the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon was noted as a Best Buy in Connoisseurs' Guide: March 2011.

Although tasting is by appointment only, it is highly recommended, not only to sample Rack & Riddle's sublime wines, but to behold the impressive two-warehouse facility. It covers 120,000 square feet, including a 17,000-square-foot crush pad. From the look of things, there will be a lot more sparkling wine coming from Mendocino County in the years to come.

WHAT TO BUY
R & R Brut
Citrus, pear, floral aromas, round, grapefruit finish $16
R & R Sparkling Rosé Méthode Champenoise
Ripe strawberry, hint of cream and spice, and bright fresh fruit finish $18
R & R Blanc De Noir
Brioche, hint of berry, bright citrus aroma, and citrus finish $18

CONTACT
877.790.7225; 707.744.8100
info@rackandriddle.com
rackandriddle.com

TASTING
Tastings by Appointment Only
PO Box 397
14100 Mountain House Rd
Hopland, CA 95499

SPECIAL NOTES
Certified organic, private tastings and tours by appt, wine club discounts, custom labeling, winemakers on-site

Photo: Shutterstock / monticello

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