One of the county’s most popular wineries with Southland visitors, Rideau Vineyard has long been known for their Rhone-inspired portfolio. More recently, though, Rideau has also pursued acclaimed vineyard-designates for a growing Pinot Noir program.
Rideau recently announced the addition of noted Consultant, Paul Wilkins, to her team. Wilkins, former Assistant Winemaker at Alban Vineyards, has developed several high-profile Central Coast based brands, including Alta Maria, Autonom and Native 9. He will be providing guidance to new Rideau Vineyards Winemaker, Amanda Baird.
Amanda Baird previously held successful stints at Halter Ranch Winery and Adelaida Cellars, both in Paso Robles. Baird’s first foray into wines at Rideau includes a Sta. Rita Hills-designated Pinot Noir with 25% stem inclusion. Sourced from the respected John Sebastiano Vineyard, Baird anticipates this wine will signal a new era at Rideau Vineyards, “Iris has provided us with new equipment and with the resources to upgrade not only the cellar, but also the estate vineyard. She is pursuing quality, and it’s great to be on her team.” Additionally, Rideau has hired the esteemed Coastal Vineyard Care team of consultants, led by Ruben Solarzano, to oversee her estate vineyard.
Rideau has also added new members of the winery administrative team, including General Manager, Marlen Porter, who divides her time between the Tasting Room and the Winery. She shares the same vision of creating balance, elegant and site driven wines. Additionally, Rideau has added an in-house graphic designer. “I have been a business woman for most of my life. I have always tried to stay relevant, and sometimes that means reassessing one’s business. The market is changing. Consumers are becoming very savvy about wines, varieties and appellations.”
She continues, “The locavore movement has led to a more sophisticated consumer. My own palate has matured over the years. I used to like wines that were fleshier and had a lot of fruit sweetness in them. These days, I enjoy exploring terroir; the vineyard source, and I’m also intrigued by wines that are a little leaner. My new team is poised to lead the winery in a more contemporary direction.”
Rideau will introduce her new team, and a few of their wines, to the public on June 1st, with an Open House. Appropriately titled, “Rideau Vineyard, The Next Chapter”, the Open House will include barrel and tank samples, tastings of new releases and a selection of charcturie and cheeses. For more information about the Open House, and Rideau Vineyards, please visit www.rideauvineyards.com