The other face of Grisons Pinot Noir. Christof Ruof, a young and dynamic winemaker from the region, embarked in 2012 on a quest to create a Pinot like he likes, fresh, crisp and fruity. A dream come true, to be followed closely...
|Cultivated grapes||Pinot Noir|
|Our favorites||PetNat, Mariafeld|
The Bündner Herrschaft, four villages in the Canton of Graubünden, in the Swiss Alps. Fläsch, Jenins, Maienfeld and Malans, about ten kilometers on this southwest facing hillside on the banks of the Rhine, and vineyards as far as the eye can see.
This is where Christof Ruof, a young and dynamic winegrower, is based, and he intends to dust off the image of the region. Although the name Ruof has echoed in the Graubünden valley for generations, no one in the family had ever been involved in winemaking before him.
Having got his feet wet with Peter Hermann, a winemaker based in Fläsch, who is also his father-in-law, Christof gradually refined his passion and his taste for the land. It is from 2012 that he decides to take in hand the destiny of the family vineyard, a small jewel of ... 0.5 acres! Just thirteen rows of vines located on the outskirts of Jenins, at the place called "Im Silser" at an altitude of some 600 meters, on clay soils, characteristic of the more rustic terroir of this part of the Herrschaft. A treasure trove of Pinot Noir, made up of Mariafeld vines from the early 1980s, supplemented some 30 years later by "1055", a clone that is very popular here in Graubünden, with smaller berries and denser clusters.
To the first cuvée, Ruof Pinot Noir, made by de-stemming part of the grapes and with maturation of almost two years, was added over the years the cuvée Mariafeld, a 100% Mariafeld, vinified in whole bunches and with shortened maturation. A fresher, more minty wine, made without any addition of sulfur and marketed a year earlier than its big sister. With the 2018 vintage, so generous in grapes, Christof launches into the elaboration of novelties, a Weissherbst first, a rosé of bleeding of Pinot Noir that many winemakers in the region neglect and that Ruof decided instead to enhance, the result is splendid! Next, a natural sparkling wine, the well-named Ruof Pet Nat, made from the same saignée, concentrated strawberry juice with milky and refreshing notes.
Nearly ten years after his debut, Christof has resolutely succeeded in his challenge to rejuvenate and modernize the image of his region, and this is only the beginning!
Christof Ruof cultivates his vineyards in Jenins, inherited from his family, who never made wine before him, but had always carefully preserved their few acres of Pinot Noir. A butcher father, just like his brother or their grandfather before them, in the Ruof family, it's more meat than grapes that runs in the veins...
But Christof catches the virus of the vine and devotes himself to its culture. Today he is also approaching some of his cousins to extend his grape supplies or to find new vines, in a region where plots of land are scarce and where the precious Pinot Noir is, quite rightly, kept in the family.