Margaret Valenzuela spent part of her formative years growing up in Mexico, where she was affectionately referred to, from time to time, as “Rubia.” She is, indeed, blonde — someone who stands out in a crowd in Mexico. She is also co-proprietor and vintner of Rubia Wine Cellars in Napa Valley.

The winery name? Her husband’s idea – not hers. A term of endearment. But in speaking with Margaret during this show, it was clear she relishes her figurative (see the label design with her likeness) and demonstrative role in overseeing all aspects of Rubia Wine Cellars.

Tune in to learn how they have joined unique terroir, choice grapes and global winemaking style to create distinctive wines. Rubia leaves a mark in your memory and heart.

We started with a short discussion on the state of the wine industry and wineries’ re-opening efforts in Napa Valley and Sonoma. Co-host Misty Roudebush Cain shared some fascinating data analysis she’d gleaned from her research as St. Supéry’s Marketing Director: There’s been a 60% increase in searches for “easy___” in 2020 over 2019, and a 65% increase in watch time for videos with “step by step” or “for beginners” in how-to videos.

How does that data knowledge inform marketers and winery owners on strategy? Easy! (Pun intended!) Make wine knowledge and food and wine pairing knowledge much easier to understand and learn. But we digress…

With Margaret, Misty, Lisa Adams Walter and Marcia Macomber all in different places, we had the lovely opportunity to share a tasting of several of Rubia’s lovely wines together. Listen in as the ladies taste and discuss Rubia winemaker Julien Fayard’s 2019 Rubia Truchard Chardonnay (unoaked), 2017 Russian River Chardonnay (oaked), and 2017 Napa Valley Red Blend.

We learned how Joe and Margaret dove into learning the wine business. (Joe even did a stint as a harvest intern!) Margaret has delved into all aspects of marketing, hospitality and winemaking (including studies at U.C. Davis’ famed winemaking program).

Rubia offers visitors tasting by appointment at Julien Fayard’s production facility, giving guests a unique opportunity to view the day’s activities, which may include racking or bottling. He may even step into a tasting led by Joe or Margaret!

The Rubia declaration on their wine label couldn’t be more prescient: “To stand out and make a mark in the world, embrace your differences and believe in who you are.” Amen! We couldn’t imagine a more fitting motto.

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