Die ersten Reben wurden hier 1885 gesetzt. 1962 wurde der erste Monte Bello produziert, zwei Jahre später der erste Zinfandel.
- Notizen des Weinguts: “At Ridge, we call our approach to winemaking “pre-industrial.” We believe that for anyone attempting to make fine wine, modern additives and industrial processing limit true quality. Our philosophy comes from the techniques used in the finest 19th-century California wineries and Bordeaux chateaux. In 1933, after thirteen years of Prohibition, very few winemakers who were trained in pre-Prohibition traditional techniques were young enough to return to their positions. Universities stepped in to fill the need for winemaker expertise, and began – year by year – to reinvent winemaking as an industrial process. We believe that these increasingly industrial methods interfere with the distinctive qualities of a fine vineyard and mask – rather than improve – the character of a wine.”
- Robert Parkers WINE ADVOCATE, Willam Kelley: "Ridge boasts as illustrious a history as any winery in California, but they certainly aren't resting on their laurels. Indeed, a persuasive case could be made that Ridge is currently producing the best wines they've ever made."
- JANCIS ROBINSON OXFORD COMPANION: “Ridge Vineyards — the most internationally admired producer of American Cabernet Sauvignon, from the historic Monte Bello vineyard in the santa cruz mountains. Ridge produces ageworthy, terroir-driven, single vineyard Cabernets and Zinfandels that demonstrate vineyard character and vintage variance over winemaking wizardry and homogeneity. Ridge’s Sonoma outpost Ridge Lytton Springs, acquired in 1991 but a source of old-vine Zinfandel grapes for a quarter-century before that, is famous for its suave yet durable wines, as is their historic Geyserville vineyard.
Monte Bello was first planted in 1886 and the stone and redwood winery deep in a ravine at 2,600 feet above Silicon Valley produced its first wine in 1892. The vineyards were abandoned during prohibition (1920–33), but were replanted to Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1940s. In 1959 Dave Bennion and two fellow Stanford Research Institute engineers purchased the winery and vineyard land as a weekend retreat and made a half barrel of such complex Cabernet that it inspired them to rebond the winery in time for the 1962 vintage. During the 1960s the group also made some exceptional Zinfandel from old vineyards both locally and in Sonoma. In 1969 Paul Draper, with winemaking experience from setting up a small winery in the coastal range of chile, joined the enterprise and is still in charge, having identified and secured long-term single vineyard sources of top-quality grapes. A small amount of Chardonnay has also been made since 1962. Draper, self-taught through tasting fine wines and studying 19th-century techniques, has been an outspoken critic of deliberately extended hang time and of what he might call davis dogma in winemaking.
Monte Bello 1971 performed particularly well in both judgment of paris tastings. Ridge's export and pricing policies have been admirably and unusually consistent.”
Weingut: Ridge Estate
Menschen/Inhaber: Paul Draper
Betriebsgröße: 55 Hektar
Region/Ort: Kalifornien, Santa Cruz Mountains