A Sonoma County Wine Family Six Generations Deep

It’s the same today has it always was with the Rued family. If you visit their place of work, you’ll find the family.

Today if you stroll any of the 160 acres of vineyards the family farms, you’ll likely find Richard Rued, who began tending the family’s vines in 1953, or his son Tom who works beside his father amongst the vines. If you visit the winery and tasting room in Dry Creek Valley, you are going to run into Richard’s wife Dee, who manages the business and tasting room. Walk into the cellar and you’ll find son Steve and his wife Sonia making wine. And if schools out, you just might be greeted by young Allyssa or Nadya, the winery’s future and official welcoming committee.

It all started in 1876 when Richard’s Great Grandfather, Henry, arrived in America from Switzerland to work the Napa Valley vineyards of Beringer Brothers. By 1882 he planted his own vineyard in the Russian River Valley. In 1905, Richard’s grandfather, also Henry, purchased a ranch in Alexander Valley.

With the advent of prohibition the family refocused their efforts on raising apples, pears and prunes, maintaining their strong connection to Sonoma County land. In 1957, Richard re-established his family’s long ties with grape growing when he took over responsibility for the family’s small plot of grapes on what was now their home estate in Dry Creek Valley.  Tending these old vines was at first a school agriculture project. It turned into a lifelong avocation and career as Richard later began replanting his family’s lands from prunes to grapes.

Fifty years after that high school project, the Rued Family continues to farm wine grapes in Dry Creek Valley and on land in Russian River and Alexander Valley, and also oversee Rued Winery, the culmination of generations of work and dedication to the soils of Sonoma County.