A dry winter left the vines struggling to find water. This reduced fruit set in all varietals, especially Zinfandel. From the thirty-eight parcels were harvested from 1st September to 5th October and fermented separately. Thirty-four were selected, including vines planted in 1901 and eighty-year-old Counoise inter-planted with Cinsault. Enjoyable now, this beautiful, complex wine will continue to develop over the next ten years and beyond.
Producer Information: Ridge
Over 50 years ago, Ridge made its first Monte Bello, and two years later its first zinfandel. Since this time, Ridge has championed single-vineyard winemaking, searching California for those rare vineyards where climate, soil, and varietal are ideally matched. Ridge Vineyards has two locations; high on Monte Bello Ridge in California’s rugged Santa Cruz Mountains in Cupertino and in the heart of Sonoma County in Healdsburg.
In the 1940s, theologian William Short bought the abandoned winery and vineyard just below the Perrone property and replanted several parcels to Cabernet Sauvignon in the late 1940s. From these vines—now the "middle vineyard"—new owners Dave Bennion and his three partners, all Stanford Research Institute engineers, made a quarter-barrel of "estate" Cabernet. That Monte Bello Cabernet marked one of California's finest wines of the era. 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.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel account for most of the production, while Syrah, Grenache, Mataro, Carignane and Petite Sirah, amongst other varieties, constitute a small percentage. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited quantities of Chardonnay since 1962.