Wine - Chardonnay - Ridge
Ridge Vineyards is a legendary wine estate in California, which was founded in 1960. The winery and the vineyards are located at Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation (AVA). Monte Bello Ridge lie at an elevation of about 800 m above sea level. The history of the Ridge Vineyards and Monte Bello Ridge began long before when Osea Perrone planted vineyards near the top of Monte Bello Ridge in 1885. In 1892, Perrone’s company Monte Bello Winery produced the first vintage from the Monte Bello Ridge vineyards. During Prohibition, the property was abandoned, and it was not until the 1940s when a man named William Short bought the abandoned winery and some of the vineyards that surrounded it. In 1949, William Short replanted Cabernet Sauvignon and planted the first vines of Chardonnay in the Monte Bello Ridge vineyards.
The beginning of what counts as today's Ridge Vineyards took place when four friends; Dave Bennion, Hew Crane, Howard Ziedler and Charlie Rosen, bought the property from Short in 1959. In 1962, Ridge Vineyards produced the first wine, which was made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The journey to become a real quality producer took off in 1969 when Ridge Vineyards employed Paul Draper as a winemaker. An interesting detail with Paul Draper is that he has no university education as an oenologist, but instead he has a degree in philosophy from the Stanford University. It is clear that the owners of Ridge Vineyards made a good recruitment since the love between Ridge Vineyards and Draper have persisted. Draper was working as a head winemaker until 2016, and in recent years he has been a chairman of the board. In 1994, Eric Baughter was employed as a winemaker and a year later the winemaking team became complete when John Olney was employed as a winemaker with responsibility for Lytton Springs. Paul Draper is now a legend in the wine industry. He has received numerous awards for his work and contributions to the wine industry. Draper retired 2016, but he remains as chairman of the board. The Japanese company Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co bought Ridge Vineyards in 1986 and it still owns it.