Mitchell Katz Winery is located in the original location of Ruby Hill Winery. Ruby Hill Winery building goes way back to 1887 when it was founded by John Crelin. The original structure survived over the years until the heavily timbered building met its demise on November 8, 1989 due to a suspicious fire. Only the walls remained standing, and remained there for another 12 years until it was demolished in 2002. The new Winery was rebuilt on the same spot in the same style as the original. The Mitchell Katz Winery is now located in the old building.
Mitchell Katz had a dream to make fine wines that began while he was helping his grandfather, Reginald Lord, make wines. Mitchell Katz Winery has been a family affair from the beginning. His wife Alicia helps in the production of his wines and they dedicate their wines to his Grandfather. They create a wide variety of wines that are indicative of the quality available from Livermore Valley at a price that is affordable. The tasting room in the historic Ruby Hill location is expansive with tile floors and a large granite tasting bar.
Mitchell Katz 2006 Livermore Valley Zinfandel, Alicia’s Elixir is from Ruby Hill Vineyards. This is wine is almost port-like in its qualities but not in its production methods. This wine has the taste of dark berries, plum, jamminess you expect from a Zinfandel. This Zin has a higher alcohol, 16%, and some residual sugar and the abundance of ripe fruit that gives it a sweetness quality. It pairs well with Gouda cheese. Gouda has a mild, nutty cream cheese flavor and pairs nicely with light fruity wines like this Zinfandel. It is made from cow’s milk.
In addition to the Alicia’s Elixir Zinfandel, Mitchell Katz makes a wide variety of wines but is most famous for their Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese in addition to their Zinfandels. The 2005 Fat Boy Cabernet Sauvignon has won many awards and the grapes are from the McGrail Vineyard in Livermore Valley, home of some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in the valley. It is Mitch’s pride and joy and called Fat Boy after the famous Atomic Bomb because Mitch feels it will “blow you away”.
Mitchell Katz 2007 Sangiovese has won multiple awards and is a joy to drink with its robustness and dark fruit qualities. On the nose there is an abundance of black cherry, wood and spice with a note of chocolate and vanilla. These same flavors continue on the palate leading to a nice medium length finish.
A visit to Mitchell Katz is a step back in history of the old Ruby Hill winery, but also a modern trip through the quality of grapes and winemaking you can find in the Livermore Valley. His winery is at 1188 Vineyard Ave, near the current Ruby Hill location. You will be impressed driving up to the vineyard along the palm lined drive.