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Ridge Vineyards

Ridge Vineyards Ridge history begins in 1886 when Osea Perrone, a doctor from northern Italy, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge, on the San Francisco peninsula. He planted grapes on top of the ridge, and on its steep southern slopes, at the same time constructing his Monte Bello winery. Limestone cellars built into the hillside on two levels became the foundation of a large redwood building, where Perrone produced the first Monte Bello wines in 1892. Today, Ridge uses the historic winery for production and aging. Almost half of the surrounding acreage, abandoned during Prohibition, has been replanted; this is our "upper" vineyard. In the 1940s, a retired theologian who loved farming as much as he loved fine wine, bought the adjoining Torre winery and its former vineyard. William Short replanted eight of the forty-eight acres to cabernet sauvignon and a small amount of chardonnay. In 1959, this 2300' "middle" vineyard was purchased by the Ridge founders as a weekend retreat for their families. One of the group, Dave Bennion, appropriated a small amount of that year's fruit, and produced the first "Ridge" Monte Bello cabernet. The exceptional quality of that wine inspired the founding families; they reopened the Torre winery as Ridge Vineyards in time for the 1962 vintage. By 1968, they had purchased the Perrone property. Paul Draper joined the group as winemaker in 1969; in 1971, he moved production to the old Monte Bello winery. During the seventies, Ridge worked with the Schwabacher family to replant the nineteenth-century cabernet vineyards on their land further down the mountain, and in 1978 these young plantings produced the first Jimsomare Cabernet. In 1996, Ridge took over the Jimsomare vines, integrating them with Monte Bello as the "lower" vineyard. We select grapes from the more than thirty separate parcels on the lower, middle, and upper to make our Monte Bello, Santa Cruz Mountains, and Home Ranch wines. These vines have now produced over forty vintages of Ridge Monte Bello, whose ability to develop complexity with age is unmatched in California, and recognized worldwide.

To reach the winery take Highway 280 to the Foothill Expressway exit. Proceed south on Foothill Boulevard (which becomes Stevens Canyon Road) approximately three miles to Monte Bello Road. Immediately after the rock quarry, turn right onto Monte Bello Road and continue 4.4 miles to 17100. (Drive carefully, the road is twisting and narrow.)

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Address Web Social
17100 Monte Bello Road, Cupertino, CA, US, 95014 Email:
Phone: 408-867-3233 Web:
Fax: 408-868-1350
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  Cabernet Sauvignon, Monte Bello
In a series of tastings conducted from late January through March, we selected seventeen lots for the first Monte Bello assemblage. Another was included in May, one more in December. Eighteen months in barrel has begun to integrate the firm tannins and rich texture of this fine vintage. Unusually appealing as a young wine, it will gain further depth and complexity over the next fifteen to twenty years.
  Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains
Elegant structure and the rich, briary fruit typical of our Santa Cruz Mountains estate combine to give the wine immediate appeal. An excellent vintage, it will continue to develop over the next twelve to fourteen years.
  Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains
Once assembled, it was allowed to settle, then racked off its lees for an unfiltered bottling. Elegant and approachable, this fine chardonnay will continue to develop over the next three to four years.
  Chardonnay, Monte Bello
A classic Monte Bello, it has the firm acid and intense, complex fruit of the cool Santa Cruz Mountains region. It will continue to develop beautifully through the decade.
70% Zinfandel, 18% Carignane, 10% Petite Sirah, 2% Mataro. At the end of June, a last rich, well-structured zinfandel lot completed assemblage. After fourteen months in barrel, the wine is fully integrated. Elegant tannins and intense fruit make it enjoyable now; it will be best over the next eight to ten years.
  Lytton Springs
Natural fermentations began quickly. Color and tannin extracted so easily that we cut circulation of juice over cap, and pressed many tanks before dryness. After a natural malolactic, the wine aged for thirteen months in airdried american oak barrels. Enjoyable as a young wine, this excellent zinfandel will continue to develop in complexity over the next ten years.
  Petite Sirah Lytton Estate
The blend's zinfandel comes from the hundred-year-old mixed vines on House Hill and South Flat, which provided roughly a third of the fruit; the balance of the petite sirah is from younger vines on the western blocks. Despite its approachability, this full-bodied petite sirah has the structure to develop further over the next decade
  Ponzo Vineyard
Fifteen percent new oak adds sweetness and complexity, complementing the natural acidity and fine tannins. This cool climate zinfandel shows the exotic fruit typical of the Russian River region. It will be at its best over the next five to six years.
  Syrah Lytton West
Enjoyable now for its forward, spicy fruit, it will develop greater complexity over the next ten years.
  Zinfandel Lytton Springs
The thirty-one separate parcels completed a natural malolactic and were racked to air-dried american oak barrels. In assemblage, a third of the wine (some from young vines, some from vines picked overripe) was held out. This elegant, full-bodied wine, with its firm tannins and intense, complex fruit, is among the finest of recent vintages. Enjoyable now, it will develop further over the next ten years. 77% ZINFANDEL, 17% PETITE SIRAH, 6% CARIGNANE
  Zinfandel Pagani Ranch
A natural malolactic finished in eight weeks. Aged in air-dried american oak barrels, this opulent,exotic wine is classic Pagani—one of the finest vintages we have made. Enjoyable now, it will soften and develop over the next five to six years.
  Zinfandel Paso Robles
Natural malolactic fermentations finished in two months, and the wine was racked to american oak barrels for aging. New oak was held to twenty percent, complementing the wine's bright cherry fruit and exotic spice. This rich, full-bodied zinfandel will be at its most enjoyable over the next five to six years.
  Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyards
After a natural malolactic, Triangle and Back blocks were combined with the moretannic Old Vines. The wine was bottled after twelve months in air-dried american oak. The 2005 Ponzo is a beautifully balanced, sensuous wine. Enjoyable now, it will continue to develop over the next five to six years.
  Zinfandel Three Valleys
"Three Valleys" is the Ridge proprietary name for its only wine blended from multiple vineyard sites. To make it, we select softer, more accessible lots from our single vineyards, combining them to create the character we think will be most appealing. Younger vines on the Lytton Springs Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley provided roughly half the fruit; a third came from Geyserville, Mazzoni, and Stone Ranch Vineyards in Alexander Valley; the balance is from Pagani Ranch in the cool Sonoma Valley. The wines fermented on their natural yeasts, were pressed, on average, after eight days, and finished a natural (uninoculated) malolactic within four weeks. Enjoyable now, this spicy, beautifully-defined zinfandel blend will develop fully over the next four or five years. 68% zinfandel, 11% carignane, 10% syrah, 7% petite sirah, 4% grenache
  Zinfandel York Creek
The firm structure of this classic York Creek required extended barrel aging. Beautifully balanced and approachable now, it will benefit from a year or two in bottle, and develop fully over the next ten years.


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