Ridge Vineyards

History

The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892. This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge's production facility. At 2600?, it is surrounded by the "upper vineyard."

In the 1940s, William Short, a theologian, bought the abandoned winery and vineyard just below the Perrone property; he replanted several parcels to cabernet sauvignon in the late 1940s. From these vines -- now the "middle vineyard"-- new owners Dave Bennion, Hew Crane, Charlie Rosen, and Howard Ziedler, all Stanford Research Institute engineers, made a quarter-barrel of "estate" cabernet. That Monte Bello Cabernet was among California's finest wines of the era. Its quality and distinctive character, and the wines produced from these same vines in 1960 and '61, convinced the partners to re-bond the winery in time for the 1962 vintage. Dave Bennion left his role at S.R.I. to oversee winemaking duties full time.

The first zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge. This was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville zinfandel. The founding families reclaimed the Monte Bello terraces, increasing vineyard size from fifteen to forty-five acres. Working on weekends, they made wines of regional character and unprecedented intensity. By 1968, production had increased to just under three thousand cases per year, and in 1969, Paul Draper joined the partnership. A Stanford graduate in philosophy--recently returned from setting up a winery in Chile's coast range--he was a practical winemaker, not an enologist. His knowledge of fine wines and traditional methods complemented the straightforward "hands off" approach pioneered at Ridge. Under his guidance the old Perrone winery (acquired the previous year) was restored, the finest vineyard lands leased or purchased, the consistent quality and international reputation of the wines established. Cabernet and Zinfandel account for most of the production; Syrah, Grenache, Carignane, and Petite Sirah constitute a small percentage. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of chardonnay since 1962.

Lytton Springs, in Sonoma County, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991. A quarter century's experience with this vineyard had convinced us that it was an exceptional piece of ground. Forty consecutive vintages of Geyserville attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals. Though born in the early sixties to the post-Prohibition world of modern California winemaking, Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology. Our pre-industrial approach is straightforward: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit's distinctive character and richness into the wine.

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Ridge Vineyards Three Valleys Zinfandel 2016
Vinous 91 “The 2016 Zinfandel Three Valleys is fabulous. Bright, floral and lifted, with very pretty red and purplish berry fruit, the 2016 holds tons of near and medium-term appeal. This mid-weight, gracious Zinfandel is all class. Best of all, pricing is around $30 a bottle. Don't miss it.”-VM 
Item Number: 31201
Bottle:$24.95
BTL

Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs 2016
92  Wine Advocate 
Vinous 95 Points “The 2016 Lytton Springs is a powerful, dense wine. Black cherry, plum, lavender, new leather, cloves, licorice and menthol flesh out. Deep, plush and richly textured, the 2016 Lytton Springs packs a real punch. The 23% Petite Sirah is felt in the wine’s darkness and overall
Item Number: 30894
Bottle:$38.95
BTL

Ridge Vineyards Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2016
94  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 94 “The 2016 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch is bright, focused and beautifully perfumed. Bright red cherry, blood orange, pomegranate, mint and rose petal notes are all lifted in this exquisite, finessed Zinfandel. Silky, medium in body and gracious, the 2016 is absolutely sublime. The oak is
Item Number: 30893
Bottle:$38.95
Case: $467.40
BTL

Ridge 'Lytton Estate' Petite Sirah 2016
Vinous 94 “The 2016 Petite Syrah Lytton Springs is another fabulous wine in this range. Dense and powerful, the 2016 is endowed with striking depth and tons of character. The Petite tannins are nicely tamed in a wine that offers superb quality and pedigree. Creme de cassis, graphite, lavender and
Item Number: 30892
Bottle:$33.95
BTL

Ridge Vineyards 'Paso Robles' Zinfandel 2016
“Deep garnet color. Black cherry fruit aromas and scented barrel spice. Rich bramble fruit on entry, medium body, integrated tannins and lively acidity, a long, opulent finish.”-Winemaker’s Notes   “Ridge's history begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of San Francisco's
Item Number: 28466
Bottle:$29.95
Case: $359.40
BTL

Ridge Vineyards 'East Bench' Zinfandel 2016
(1)
94  Vinous Media 
Robert Parker 92 "The 2016 Zinfandel East Bench offers up classic aromas of blackberry, cherry pit, warm spices and licorice. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, with velvety tannins, an ample core of succulent fruit and lovely balance. Generous and structurally open-knit, this is already
Item Number: 28465
Bottle:$26.95
Case: $323.40
BTL

Ridge Vineyards 'Geyserville' Zinfandel 2016
94  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 91-94  “The 2016 Zinfandel Geyserville is bright, lifted and decidedly medium in body. The flavors are distinctly red toned and the acids are bright. Sweet red cherry, red plum, mint and floral notes add nuance, but it is the wine’s overall energy that really makes an impression. Even
Item Number: 28464
Bottle:$37.95
Case: $455.40
BTL

Ridge Vineyards 'Ponzo Vnyd' Zinfandel 2015
92  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 92 "Sleek and focused, with floral cherry and dill aromas and lithely layered black raspberry, pepper and anise flavors that finish with polished tannins. Drink now through 2023. 2,000 cases made."–TF  Connoisseur's Guide to California Wine 91  "Nose of citrus blossom, raspberry
Item Number: 26535
Bottle:$31.95
Case: $383.40
BTL

Ridge Vineyards 'Monte Bello' Cabernet Blend 2015
98  International Wine Report 
JamesSuckling 100 “Stunning depth, power, purity and elegance. The blackcurrants and plums are fresh and intense on the nose with blueberries and gently herbal notes, too. The palate has a keenly articulated array of vibrant tannins that hold long, fresh and pure. It invokes a sense of wonderment

Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs 2015
94  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 94 "The 2015 Lytton Springs is very, very closed. Readers should not think about opening a bottle anytime soon. Intensely aromatic, but also tightly wound, the 2015 only hints at its true potential. Deceptively medium in body, the 2015 packs a real punch."-VM  Connoisseurs Guide 95

Ridge Vineyards 'Monte Bello' Cabernet Blend 2014
98  James Suckling 
James Suckling 98 "Unique aromas of blackberry, black currant, dark chocolate and walnut. Full body, very powerful and tannic. Incredible depth and power. Precise and so focused. Muscular. Great structure. This needs at least six to eight years to come together."-JS  Decanter 97 "Another superb

Ridge Vineyards Three Valleys Zinfandel 2015
"Spicy oak with strawberry and fig jam to the nose. Medium-to-full bodied, soft mouth-feel and focused cherry fruit, mint. Refreshing acidity on the finish with notes of chapparal. Blend: 72% Zinfandel, 13% Petite Sirah, 10% Carignane, 5% Grenache."-Winemaker's Notes  "Ridge's history begins in

Ridge Vineyards Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2015
(1)
94  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 94 “A dense, powerful wine, the 2015 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch exudes concentration in all of its dimensions. Red cherry jam, pomegranate, mint, rose petal and spice meld together in a plush, voluptuous Zinfandel loaded with personality. There is so much to like. The Pagani is the ripest

Ridge 'Lytton Estate' Petite Sirah 2015
94  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 94 "The 2015 Petite Sirah Lytton Estate is all class. There is plenty of depth to the inky blue and purplish Petite fruit, while the tannins are remarkably polished for a young Dry Creek Petite. Hints of lavender, tobacco, mint, smoke and crème de cassis develop in the glass, adding

Ridge Vineyards 'Estate' Chardonnay 2015
"Pale golden color. Pineapple fruit, braised pear, and fig aromas, sweet oak, and dried herbs. Tart apple fruit entry, pineapple, citrus, and an elegant texture; long, refreshing firm acid finish. "-Winemaker's Notes  "Ridge's history begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent

Ridge Vineyards 'Estate' Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
"Ripe bramble fruit entry, medium-full body, supple tannins, and sweet oak; firm acid persists in a long finish." —Eric Baugher, COO & Winemaker at Monte Bello, February 2017  "Ridge's history begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community,

Ridge Vineyards 'Geyserville' Zinfandel 2015
(1)
90  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 90 "Big but polished, with floral black cherry and roasted dill aromas and rich, slightly earthy flavors of dark plum, licorice and spicy clove. Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet. Best after 2018. 9,000 cases made."—T.F.  Connoisseur’s Guide to California

Ridge Vineyards 'East Bench' Zinfandel 2015
90  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 90 "Refined and well-built, with raspberry and smoky dill aromas and sleek, zesty cherry and licorice flavors that linger nicely. Drink now through 2024. 5,000 cases made."—T.F.  "Made with 100% certified organic grapes. The ingredient box on the back label indicates the wine is

Ridge Vineyards Three Valleys Zinfandel 2014
(1)
"Full garnet color. Fresh raspberry and blueberry fruits, clay mineral, exotic oak spice. Rich entry with bramble fruit, chewy tannins, creamy/sweet oak, and a moderately long finish.  Blend: 65% Zinfandel, 17% Petite Sirah, 14% Carignan, 4% Grenache."-Winemaker's Notes  "Ridge's history begins

Ridge Vineyards Three Valleys Zinfandel 2013
"Full garnet color. Fresh raspberry and blueberry fruits, clay mineral, exotic oak spice. Rich entry with bramble fruit, chewy tannins, creamy/sweet oak, and a moderately long finish.  Blend: 65% Zinfandel, 17% Petite Sirah, 14% Carignan, 4% Grenache."-Winemaker's Notes  "Ridge's history begins

Ridge Vineyards 'Monte Bello' Chardonnay 2013
95  Wine Advocate 
The Wine Advocate 95  "A true gem, the 2013 Chardonnay Monte Bello, which was barrel fermented and aged 17 months in mostly American oak, offers sensational notes of white peach, citrus blossom, mint, ginger and baking spices. It’s a big, rich wine, yet it never puts a foot wrong, is impeccably

Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs 2014
Vinous 94 "The 2014 Lytton Springs is another absolutely gorgeous wine. Perhaps because of its relatively recent bottling, the 2004 feels a bit compressed, but there appears to be plenty of complexity and depth hiding behind the acidity and tannin. Far from an easygoing Zinfandel, the 2014 Lytton

Ridge Vineyards 'Monte Bello' Cabernet Blend 2013
Vinous 98 "The 2013 Monte Bello is utterly spellbinding in its beauty. Finely sculpted and chiseled, with super-expressive aromatics and searing tannins, the 2013 is shaping up to be a modern-day classic. The 2013 is remarkably pure and vibrant for such a big wine. It will be years before the 2013

Ridge Lytton Springs Petite Sirah 2014
Vinous 95 "The 2014 Petite Sirah Lytton Estate is outstanding. Deep, luscious and intense, but with none of the aggressiveness Petite so often presents, the 2014 is utterly captivating from the very first taste. Dark red and blue-hued stone fruits, mint, spices and licorice are front and center.

Ridge Vineyards 'East Bench' Zinfandel 2014
91  Vinous Media 
Robert Parker 90 "The 2014 Zinfandel East Bench (100% Zinfandel as well) is the biggest of these wines at a whopping 14.9% alcohol. Nearly Provençal in character, this wine displays good, fleshy, ripe black cherry and blackcurrant fruit and loads of spice, with zesty acids and light tannin. This