Rabbit Ridge Chardonnay
Although he now effortlessly blends some of the most deliciously affordable wines in the country,
becoming an accomplished winemaker didn't happen overnight for Erich Russell, founder and
winemaker of Rabbit Ridge. This self-taught master began with a home winemaking kit while teaching
school in Southern California. Erich had earned his nickname “The Rabbit” as a world-class runner in
college. His talent for winemaking later became apparent when in 1979 his entry in an amateur
winemaking contest earned him a job at Chateau St. Jean.
In 1981, Erich opened Rabbit Ridge Winery in Healdsburg, which grew throughout the 1980's and 1990's
to become one of the top wineries in Sonoma County. As the cost of vineyards in Sonoma became
prohibitive, in an effort to continue Rabbit Ridge's commitment to producing high quality wines at
affordable prices, Erich began looking for prime vineyard land elsewhere. This eventually led him to the
west side of Paso Robles where the climate is cooler and limestone soils similar to the great vineyards of
France and Italy are found. Erich planted vineyards precisely throughout the appellation to take
advantage of the unique micro-climates and soil characteristics that would best suit each varietal. Today
over 300 acres on five different vineyard sites on the west side of Highway 101 are in production and Erich
is making some of the best wines of his career. In 2003, Rabbit Ridge completed construction of a new
Mediterranean style, 55,000 square foot state-of-the-art, gravity flow winery in Paso Robles, as the
business had outgrown the Healdsburg facility.
|Perfectly crisp and light
with just the right amount of French oak for body.
|Aged in 100% French oak for three to six months. Very lightly filtered and bottled.