Great wines begin with the earth. At Monte Bello, the 1959 vintage convinced the founding partners that here was an astounding match of climate. soil, and varietal. In the wine producing world. these ideal sites represent only a few percent of the land planted to vineyard. Once a producer has identified a great vineyard site, it is very important, if at all possible, to gain full, long-term control of it - by purchase or otherwise - in order to maintain quality and consistency. Monte Bello - with its cool location, mature vines, and well-drained limestone sub-soils - continues to produce some of the most distinctive, complex cabernet and merlot in California. Ridge now owns or leases all its Bordeaux-varietal vineyards on Monte Bello Ridge.

In Sonoma, over thirty consecutive vintages from Geyserville's old-vine zinfandel, carignan, and petite sirah attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals. Ridge holds a thirty-year lease on a major part of that vineyard. More than two decades of experience at Lytton Springs has convinced us that it, too, is such a place. Early in the 1990s, Ridge purchased the major vineyards that make up this wine. The Pagani Ranch in Sonoma, the Dusi Ranch in Paso Robles, York Creek in Napa, and Bridgehead in Contra Costa, are other vineyards that meet our criteria for distinctive sites.

Our vineyard ideal is low per-vine yields from well-drained soils. Ridge farms the majority of its vineyards, and has long-standing relationships with its growers. We work closely with them throughout the year in matters of vineyard practice. At harvest, contact is virtually constant, assuring rigorous control of quality. We harvest (more by taste than by sugar and acid numbers) block by block - in some instances by partial block - to assure full maturity of flavor.

Ridge Vineyards / 17100 Monte Bello Rd. / Box 1810 / Cupertino CA 95015 / Monte Bello Winery: 408-867-3233 / Sonoma County Winery: 800-456-7721

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