Our story begins a mile high above the ground in Denver, Colorado where Randy and Tracy Hart (also husband and wife) along with Jody Yehle were putting in long hours at a mid-sized architectural firm while on the weekends could be found making their own wine while also trying a variety of wines from around the world, enjoying the fruits, or in their case, specifically, the grapes of their labor.
In 2014, after Tracy and Randy, spending many weekends while on project assignment, driving up and down the California coast, a vineyard in Fiddletown (Amador County) became available. They fell in love with this 2,000 foot above sea level gem and the price was just right. After consulting with Jody, they decided to quickly put in an offer, which much to their surprise was accepted. They became the proud owners of Le Mulet Rouge Vineyard and Winery, translated from French meaning “the Red Mule” located right on Red Mule Rd. They left the crazy corporate life of Denver behind to live the dream and become winemakers.
To quote the definition of a dreamer: “A person who visions their ambitions to plant the seeds of the future.”
Challenging times were ahead. The property needed a bit of work and just like any other startup venture, additional capital expenditures were required. A tremendous amount of sweat equity was required to get the vineyard and winery to an operational state. The trio was able to breakout responsibilities accordingly: Jody would handle operations, sales, marketing and business management, Randy would serve as the vineyard manager and Tracy would handle winemaking responsibilities.
For the tasting room, Jody oversaw the conversion of an old bookstore into a comfortable yet contemporary space situated right in the heart of Sutter Creek, Calif., a historic gold rush turned winery town in the heart of Amador County. “A little bit of heaven” is how Tamara Richards, the tasting room manager, so eloquently described it.
Le Mulet Rouge makes an interesting and award winning assortment of reds, whites and sparkling wines as well as a rose’. Both a combination of single varietals and blends. “Blends have become quite popular and we enjoy how they create different wine experiences” , noted Tracy.
“As architects, we created different experiences for people, and now we like to think our wines create special moments and memories for those who share them with family and friends.”
Tasting Notes and Highlights:
2015 “Artisan” – A dark plum beauty radiating bold flavors of Sierra hilltop wholesomeness yet reflecting an old world sophistication. The ideal backyard grilling adventure that plays well with a perfectly cooked filet. A beautiful blend of estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec.
2017 Estate Sauvignon Blanc – A crisp, youthful delight with soft, soothing touches of apple goodness with a hint of lemon. Goes amazingly well with a pasta dish and an assortment of green vegetables.
More from Le Mulet Rouge Vineyard and Winery: