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Paul Draper, Eric Baugher, John Olney, David Gates
Wine Club
Tasting Room

Monday-Thursday

11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Friday-Sunday

11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Monday-Thursday

11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Friday-Sunday

11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tours by Appointment
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Sonoma County

Ridge Vineyards

Hours:

Monday-Thursday

11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Friday-Sunday

11:00 am - 5:00 pm

650 Lytton Springs Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448
United States

(707) 433-7721

www.ridgewine.com

Since 1962, Ridge has championed single-vineyard winemaking, exploring California in search of those rare sites where climate, soil, and varietal are ideally matched. Our aim is to guide the natural process; using traditional methods and minimal handling, we strive to produce the highest quality wines from superior and distinctive fruit.

 

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 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.

 

To retain the nuances that increase complexity, both grapes and wine are handled minimally. The varietals, vineyard site, and conditions of each vintage determine quality and character.  There is no recipe, only the attention and sensitivity accorded each wine.

Paul Draper, Eric Baugher, John Olney, David Gates

PAUL DRAPER, CEO/WINEMAKER (second from right)
Paul Draper grew up on an eighty-acre farm in the Chicago suburb of Barrington. After attending the Choate School and receiving a degree in philosophy from Stanford University, he lived for two years in northern Italy. Later he attended the University of Paris and traveled extensively in France, gaining practical experience in traditional winemaking. In the mid-sixties, with a close friend, he set up a small winery in the coast range of Chile and produced several vintages of cabernet sauvignon. He joined Ridge Vineyards in 1969, and presently resides atop Monte Bello Ridge with his wife Maureen and daughter Caitlin. He is known for his crafting of fine cabernets and chardonnays from the Monte Bello estate vineyards, and as a pioneer in the production of long-lived, complex zinfandels.

 

ERIC BAUGHER, VICE PRESIDENT, WINEMAKING - MONTE BELLO (second from left)

A native Californian, Eric grew up on a small ranch in the Santa Cruz Mountains where he raised animals, planted gardens and orchards, and rode horses. His love of the area kept him there for college; he attended UC Santa Cruz, receiving undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In 1994 he joined Ridge and in his first year, he organized the laboratory and developed new sophisticated analytical tests to support Ridge's traditional winemaking practices. In 1995, he took on production management and now oversees all day-to-day winemaking activities. His passion for wine and the stimulating juxtaposition of low-tech winemaking and high-tech analytic techniques keeps him totally involved and constantly inspired.

 

JOHN OLNEY, VICE PRESIDENT, WINEMAKING - LYTTON SPRINGS (right)
John began traveling to Europe at an early age where he was introduced to the culture of wine in France and Italy. He frequently visited the south of France where he spent time with his uncle, Richard Olney, the celebrated food and wine writer. Through his uncle's relationships, John learned first hand many of the great European winemaking methods and traditions. Later, while attending a language exchange program in Provence, he chose to pursue wine as a career and, in 1994, enrolled in enological studies at the Lycée Viticole in Burgundy to learn the craft of winemaking in greater depth. Before coming to Ridge, John worked at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant as well as with several European winemakers including Gerald Chave in the Rhone, Lucien Peyraud at Domaine Tempier, and Aubert de Villaine of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.
In 1996, John began work at Ridge's Monte Bello Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. In 1999, he was put in charge of the Lytton Springs Winery where he oversaw the construction of the new 17,000 sq. ft. straw bale winery.

 

DAVID GATES, VICE PRESIDENT, VINEYARD OPERATIONS (left)
He grew up on a hundred-and-sixty acre farm in central Minnesota. In order to escape the Minnesota winters, he attended the University of California, San Diego for two years. His love of plants and agriculture led him to UC Davis, where he received his bachelor's and master's degrees in Viticulture, and met and married his wife, Donna. For the next six years he worked as a viticultural consultant throughout northern California and southern Oregon, and as a vineyard manager in Napa Valley. Since joining Ridge in 1989, David's duties include managing the Monte Bello vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Whitten Ranch at Geyserville, and the Lytton Estate vineyards at Healdsburg, as well as monitoring and helping all Ridge growers in Sonoma, Napa, Santa Clara, and San Luis Obispo Counties.

Gallery

Ridge Vineyards Ridge Vineyards Ridge Vineyards
Ridge Vineyards

Wines

 

2007 Monte Bello®

Cassis, violets, blackberry. Wet stone, espresso, notes of sweet oak. On entry, ripe mountain fruit, licorice, complex minerals. Youthful and lively, with firm acid and elegant chalky tannins. Captivating finish.

 

2008 Ridge Estate

Opaque garnet color. Layered cassis and blackberry, fennel, dark chocolate, limestone/mineral notes, toasty oak. Complex fruit, tannins, and oak are impressively balanced. Drinkable now, and over the next fifteen years.

 

 

2009 Petite Sirah Lytton Estate

All estate-grown grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and partially crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria. Minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush; 210 ppm over the course of aging). Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

 

2005 Dynamite Hill Petite Sirah

A long growing season allowed the York Creek grapes to achieve intensity at modest (by today's standards) ripeness. We picked in late September; the tight, mature, brown-stemmed clusters were perfect for a natural-yeast, whole-cluster fermentation. Extraction of color and tannin was ideal by day six, and we pressed. The natural secondary (malolactic) fermentation was complete by late November, and the wine racked to air-dried american oak barrels for aging. These fifteen barrels--one-third new, one-third three years old, one-third four years old--were combined for a special, limited petite sirah bottling, something we have not done since 2000. After twenty months in oak, the wine has gained additional richness and spice, and tannins have softened. Remarkably complex, it is approachable now, but will continue to improve with five to seven years of bottle age.

 

2009 East Bench®

Garnet/crimson color. Raspberry and red currant fruits, black pepper, brown sugar clay earth, iron/rust. Classic Dry Creek briar, attractive barrel toast and spice, lively acid. Drink young.

 

2009 Geyserville®

Saturated ruby color. Penetrating cherry/plum fruit, black tea, pepper/clove spice, gravel, tar, mint. Fresh bramble entry, polished tannins. Opulent, balanced, complete.

 

2008 Lytton Springs®

Ripe nose of raspberry, plum, pepper and chapparel. Blackberry, mineral and vanilla notes dominate the palate. Well integrated tannins typical of this classic vineyard add to the long finish.

 

2008 Pagani Ranch

Cherry preserve nose, highlighted by red plum, dried cranberry. Appealing mix of exotic fruit and spice on entry, bright flavors enhanced by firm acidity. Structured, balanced. Very long finish.

 

2009 Paso Robles

Garnet/medium ruby. Intense sun-dried cherry; sweet, defined tropical guava, old-vine pepper spice. Approachable, fruit-forward style. Viscous, smooth-body, coated tannins. Long finish with bursts of juicy stone fruits.

 

2009 Ponzo Vineyard

Medium garnet. Scented red fruits, tart plum, white pepper, dried herbs, crushed stone. Elegant entry; sweet red currant, strawberry, lightly toasted oak. Medium body, finely woven tannins, refreshing acidity. Approachable.

 

2008 York Creek

Aromas of blackberry vanilla and cassis followed by a dark fruit and mineral palate. Ample acidity and very full but well coated tannins round out the finish.

 

 

2007 Monte Bello Chardonnay®

Intense medley of pear, apple, fig, pineapple. Citrus blossom, creme brulee, crushed rock/mineral, lemon zest. Rich, oily texture. Deep flavors. Firm acidity balanced by sweet fruit.

 

2009 Estate Chardonnay

Translucent gold color. Fresh tropical fruits layered with apple, pear, melon. Honeysuckle nectar, wet limestone. Cool-climate firm acid. Barrel toast and caramelized apple in finish.

 

Jimsomare Chardonnay

A mild winter produced modest rainfall. The vines on Monte Bello's steep slopes, however, survived a warm summer with only minor waterstress. The three vineyard parcels that make up this wine were harvested inlate September, and the grapes pressed as whole clusters. The juice chilled overnight in tank, and was aerated the next day before going to barrel to ferment on native yeasts. Cool cellar temperatures kept fermentation progressing slowly, maintaining fruit definition. Through June, each barrel was stirred once a week to put the yeast lees in suspension until natural malolactic finished. The wine then cleared as lees settled. Assembled in September, it was returned to one-year-old barrels for additional spice andsweetness. This approachable wine will be most enjoyable over the next three to four years.

 

 

2008 Mikulaco

February's warm weather moved bud-break ahead of schedule, for a September harvest. The vineyard's north exposure moderated ripeness; flavor developed at moderate sugar levels, yet acidity was maintained. Whole clusters were loaded directly into a gentle membrane press. Natural primary and secondary fermentations took place in barrel-mainly american oak, a few older french. The wine aged on its lees for eleven months; barrels were stirred every ten days throughout the spring. Once settled, the clear wine was racked off the sediment, allowing us to bottle without filtering. This refreshing chardonnay displays crisp mountain fruit, and the firm acidity characteristic of a cool-climate vineyard. It will be at its best over the next five years.