I had the pleasure of visiting Rancho de Philo winery this weekend for the first time and I'm very pleased with what I found! Rancho de Philo Winery is located in the foothills of the Cucamonga Valley, 45 miles east of Los Angeles. It was founded in 1975 by Philo Biane after he retired as President/CEO of Brookside Vineyard Co., then one of California's oldest wineries. Brookside was noted for its excellent table and dessert wines which were developed by Mr. Biane. When he retired and established Rancho de Philo, he brought in his daughter, Janine Biane Tibbetts, to assist him and learn the fine art of winemaking. She and her husband, Alan, are now continuing the family tradition of making award winning dessert wines.
The sole wine product of Rancho de Philo is an exceptional Triple Cream Sherry. Made in the traditional Spanish style, fifteen soleras of 15 barrels each are used in the final blending of wines ranging in age from 12 to more than 45 years. The wine is made from the Mission grape and is aged until is reaches a deep amber color. Hints of golden raisins, butterscotch and nuttiness attest to the sweetness and complexity that can only be achieved through time and the warm California sun. Savor....and then smile as you take another sip!
Rancho de Philo Triple Cream Sherry is a premium dessert wine as attested to by the consistent high honors received at the many competitions it has entered. Honors for the 2006 bottling include:
San Diego International Wine Competition: Gold, Best Dessert Wine of Show
Monterey Peninsula Int'l Wine Competition: Gold, Best Dessert Wine of Show
Pacific Rim International Wine Competition: Gold, Best of Class
San Francisco Int'l Wine Competition: Double Gold
Orange County Fair Int'l Wine Competition: Gold, Chairman's Award
New World International Wine Competition: Gold
Los Angeles Co. Fair Int'l Wine Competition: Silver
Sales to the public are direct from the winery beginning the second Saturday of November. Hours are 9AM to 5PM daily until they are sold out. They are usually sold out in one week. Quantity is limited to no more than one case of the current year's wine as only 325 cases of 12 bottles are produced.
After opening a bottle of Rancho de Philo wine, do not refrigerate it. It will continue to develop in complexity if you simply replace the cork and store it upright on your counter, buffet or pantry shelf!