Winemaking Family Style

It’s fair to say that if a husband and wife can survive the long days of a harvest together, they’ve probably got a pretty strong relationship. Steve and Sonia Rued are living proof. Theirs is not a case of one spouse waiting up late for their better half to return home with purple hands. Theirs is the unique case of a husband and wife both working side by side to crush and press, oversee fermentation, rack and fine the wines, make winemaking decisions and care for the family’s wines from harvest through bottling. Steve & Sonia Rued are the husband and wife winemaking team at Rued Vineyards.

Steve & Sonia met in 1993 when she, a native of South Africa, spent the season in the lab at Dry Creek Vineyard just around the corner from the Rued family’s vineyards. At the time, Steve, the youngest son of Dee and Richard, worked the cellar at Dry Creek Vineyard. By 1996 they married and each pursued different paths in the wine industry. Sonia pursued enologist and winemaking positions at Sonoma’s Carmenet and Seghesio Vineyards while Steve went on to hold the position of Winemaker at Kenwood Vineyards, Valley of the Moon and finally Rutherford Wine Company.

Together they were the stewards of the first (2000) vintage of Rued Family wines and have worked side by side in the cellar at their family’s Dry Creek Valley estate ever since.

Their secret of working together as husband and wife and staying husband and wife? Respect for each other and each other’s skills and talents.