The Brilliant Wines of Ridge

October 4, 2016 News and Opinion  No comments

In the last year I’ve had the pleasure of visiting two of Ridge’s most famous vineyards: Lytton Springs in Sonoma and Monte Bello in the Santa Cruz mountains high above Silicon Valley.  Those two vineyards, along with Geyserville, make up the top bottlings for Ridge, and have for over 40 years.   During that time, very little has changed and the result is one the longest-lived wines in the U.S. (Monte Bello) and two of the most American wines (Lytton Springs and Geyserville).

Here are some of the reasons I love Ridge:

  • Monte Bello is one of the longest-lived wines in the country.  This year, I tasted a vertical of the ’88, ’03 and ’12 and they were all brilliant.  That’s especially impressive considering ’88 was a poor vintage in California and the wine was 28 years old!
  • In 1987, Ridge was acquired by a Japanese pharmaceuticals company (Sheinhardt Wig Co. anyone?), yet by all accounts, nothing has changed and Ridge is completely autonomous.
  • From 1969 until this year, Paul Draper was in charge of winemaking.  He’s still Chairman of the Board.
  • Monte Bello vineyard (picture below) sits high above Silicon Valley.  From the winery, visitors can see Apple’s new “spaceship” headquarters and, on a clear day, San Francisco.
  • Pricing remains incredibly fair vs. other wines of similar caliber.
  • Ridge has used American oak since the beginning, despite a shift from virtually all other domestic wineries to French oak, yet the oak is wonderfully balanced and completely integrated.
  • Ridge has maintained low alcohol levels while everyone else creeps up.  Monte Bello is usually in the high 12s or low 13s and the Zinfandels are in the low 14s.
  • Each wine label includes ingredients that note everything that was done to the wine including any additions (sulfur, water, egg whites for fining).  Example below.
  • Many of the Zinfandel vines are over 100 years old.
  • The wines are great year in and year out.

LA Wine Co. has the Geyserville, Lytton Springs and Monte Bello available currently.

Buy Here: 2014 Ridge Geyserville $31.95

Buy Here: 2014 Ridge Lytton Springs $31.95

Buy Here: 2013 Ridge Monte Bellow $169.95

Monte Bello Vineyard looking down on Silicon Valley:

Ridge Monte Bello Vineyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lytton Springs Vineyard’s 100+ year old vines:

IMGP6222

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ridge Label:

Ridge Label

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