Rudy's winemaking philosophy centers on the concept that great wines are created in the vineyard and not in the winery. His most important winemaking tool is his palate: his ability to understand and analyze each vineyard’s wine potential through the tasting of the grapes. All of the grapes used in the von Strasser label are picked at their optimum ripeness when the flavors are peaking and the tannins have become ripe and soft. Based on these harvest decisions, the correct combination of fermentation and winemaking techniques (including cold soaking, fermentation temperatures, extended maceration, aeration, and an aggressive barrel program) are employed to maximize each vineyard’s potential. The end result is wine of great extract and a tannin complex which is both huge and soft at the same time. The resultant mouth feel is often described as being “chewy”, and makes these hillside wines both approachable when young, yet also worthy of further development with age.
The three distinct tiers of wines, the Reserve, the Single Vineyard, and the Diamond Mountain District (DMD) tiers are made with individual philosophies.
The DMD is a blend made from the softest parts of all the vineyards. It is perfumed on the nose, full on the palate, concentrated, yet lower in tannins and approachable as a young wine. It compliments a wide variety of dishes and represents tremendous value from the winery and the AVA.
The Single Vineyard bottlings are made when a particular microclimate with a vineyard produce a wine of unparalleled intensity, concentration and extraction. These wines are by definition limited in production, and due to their concentration will continue to develop for years to come.
The Reserve, the pinnacle of our viticultural and enological efforts is, only made in great vintages (1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010) and is unique in the in wine-world due its signature make up:
40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Petit Verdot, and a blend of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and/or Merlot for the remaining 20%