Exceptional single-vineyard wines since 1962.
Thank you for your support of our wines and our winemaking philosophy. Since 1959, we have used traditional techniques to produce single vineyard wines that express the individual character of their site. Your understanding and appreciation of our wines has allowed us to continue to take this “pre-industrial” approach to producing fine wines of place from some of California’s great vineyards. As you may have noted, with the 2011 vintage we are listing on our label all the ingredients we use in our “pre-industrial” winemaking. We would very much like to hear your comments, both upside and downside, on this and our hope that it will encourage other fine winemakers to do the same.
With best wishes,
Paul Draper CEO & Winemaker
1885 Dr. Osea Perrone of San Francisco buys 180 acres on Monte Bello Ridge, plants vines, builds a stone winery.
Three scientists from Stanford Universityâ€™s Research Institute (SRI) and their families form a partnership and buy Dr. Shortâ€™s property. One of them, David Bennion, makes a half barrel of cabernet from the ten year old vines.
The partners rebond the winery and make their first Ridge Monte Bello.
Ridge produces its first Geyserville, from vines planted in 1882 in Sonoma County.
They produce their first zinfandel from 19th century vines on the Picchetti ranch.
The Founding Partners
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New Lytton Springs Winery
Ridge produces the first Lytton Springs from vines planted in 1902.
Ridge buys the Lytton Springs winery and its old vineyards.
Paul Draper 1972 joins the 1991 partnership as Judgment of Paris winemaker.
Ridge celebrates 50 year anniversary
30 year repeat of the Judgment of Paris. The 2012 1971 and 2000 Monte Bello cabernets win first place in both the original vintage wine and new vintage wine categories in London and California.
Judgment of Paris
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INGREDIENT LABELING WHY ARE WE ADDING INGREDIENTS TO OUR LABELS?
At Ridge we call our approach to winemaking “pre-industrial”. We believe that for anyone attempting to make fine wine, modern additives and invasive processing limit true quality and do not allow the distinctive character of a fine vineyard to determine the character of the wine.
Ridge is adding to its labels a list of actions and ingredients to demonstrate how little intervention is necessary to produce a fine, terroir-driven wine from distinctive fruit. Although an ingredient list is not required by the TTB, if a winery chooses to add a list of ingredients to its back label it must list ALL ingredients. The TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) in the US and the government authorities in all major wine-producing countries have approved over 60 additives for use in wine. Two of the most invasive are:
• Mega Purple, a 2000 to 1 concentrate from lesser red grapes that adds texture, body, and color.
• Velcorin, a chemical that kills everything in a wine in order to eliminate Brettanomyces (Brett).
The TTB (and other governments) have also approved more than 10 invasive industrial processes for winemaking. Some of the machines, variations on reverse osmosis, can lower alcohol, increase alcohol, eliminate vinegar, Brett, cork taint, smoke taint, and even sugar from wines intended to be dry by forcing the wine through a membrane under very high pressure. Other machines include:
• Room Temperature Evaporation • Spinning Cone • A new machine coming into use: Thermo Flash (Flash Detente) Given that these modern processing machines and invasive additives are not needed in making fine wine, Ridge has opted to voluntarily include an ingredient list on its labels. Besides sustainably-grown grapes and their natural yeasts and malolactic bacteria, we list everything added. These are limited to the few non-invasive additives in use for well more than a hundred years. We hope to encourage others making fine wine to entrust their customers with their list of ingredients. —Paul Draper, Monte Bello Ridge, February 2013 www.ridgewine.com | page 6
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Ridge is adding to each label a list of ingredients to demonstrate how little intervention is necessary to produce a fine, site-driven wine from distinctive vineyards.
Ingredients:A Hand harvested,B sustainably grown grapes;C indigenous yeasts;D naturally occurring malolactic bacteria;E oak from barrel aging; Fcalcium carbonate;G minimum effective SO2. PD (12/12) 750 mL 408.867.3233
® REGISTERED TRADEMARK
A Cutting of each cluster
by hand and eliminating damaged fruit.
B Farming practices that
protect environment, workers, and community.
C Yeasts brought by bees
and wasps to bird or wind damaged mature berries on the vine. Bacteria naturally present
D on fruit, such as grapes, that 2011 Geyserville Vineyard, bottled January 2013 A long winter delayed the start of the growing season. Having escaped late spring rains, the vines set a large crop—more than an unusually cold summer could ripen. Severe thinning became essential. Harvest began September 21, and ended October 3—a day before the first rain. Twenty-four parcels were fermented, and kept separate. In late spring, during rigorous blind tastings, we chose twelve parcels to make up the 2011. Quantities are limited, but this is a superb Geyserville, showing intense fruit, and strong vineyard character. Enjoyable now, it will continue to develop over the next ten or twelve years. EB (12/12)
Ingredients: Hand harvested, sustainably grown grapes; indigenous yeasts; naturally occurring malolactic bacteria; oak from barrel aging; calcium carbonate; minimum effective SO2. PD (12/12) 750 mL 408.867.3233
® REGISTERED TRADEMARK
Other additions used on occasion:
contain malic acid.
E Minor complement of oak extracted from the barrels during aging.
F Small addition during
fermentation, to moderate unusually high natural acidity.
G Smallest SO2 addition
needed to maintain vineyard character in a wine.
Water: When temperatures during a zinfandel harvest rise significantly, this varietal can over ripen quickly before there is time to pick all the blocks. If that occurs we make a small addition of water to those fermentors to rehydrate grapes that lost a minor amount of water to the vine in protecting it from the excessive heat. Egg Whites: The most gentle of all fining agents, fresh egg whites have been used for at least two hundred years to clarify fine wine and/or moderate tannins. Virtually every Bordeaux from the 1st growths to its lesser classifications have been fined with five or six fresh egg whites per barrel in the majority of vintages for at least one hundred years. For Ridge, clarity is never an issue, but fining can moderate the texture of the tannins in the wines from a few of the parcels, typically of cabernet or merlot, that in a given vintage might be too tough. The egg whites precipitate and the wine is racked off and filtered leaving virtually no trace of the egg white behind. Tartaric Acid: Acidity in zinfandel (Geyserville being an exception) is, on occasion, not as high as would be ideal but is still considerably better than syrah. To achieve balance in those few parcels, small amounts of tartaric acid, the natural acid in wine, is added. www.ridgewine.com | page 7
A RARE OPPORTUNITY 28 BARRELS PRODUCED
89% primitivo, 6% petite sirah, 5% carignane This is the second time we have bottled as a separate wine our only block planted to a primitivo clone of zinfandel from the Puglia region of southern Italy. Primitivo typically has smaller clusters, can get ripe quickly, and often exhibits darker fruit flavors. Our four-acre block was planted to primitivo in 2004 and is located on the western portion of Lytton Springs. Both primitivo and zinfandel came from the coast of dalmatia where it was known as tribidrag, pribidrag, or crljenak kasteljanski.
Tasting Notes: Brambly fruit on the nose with complex spicy aromas of mint, nutmeg, vanilla and thyme. Lots of black cherry fruit, mediumto-full bodied in weight, notes of mint, licorice and a clean minerally finish. JO (07/13)
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FROM OUR LIBRARY 1999 MONTE BELLO Vineyard Production: 166 tons from 105 acres, Selection: 42% 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot In most California vineyards, yields were cut by a cold, rainy spring. At Monte Bello, where it was colder still, flowering and set were put on hold. When summer finally came, the clement weather allowed a perfect set. Even after severe thinning, yields were two and a half tons per acre, equaling 1997’s record. We harvested the separate parcels from the end of October through mid-November, as they ripened. In this vintage, fermentations destined for in-barrel malolactic were started with selected yeast; the rest—including all malolactics—were natural. Ninety-three percent of the wine was racked to air-dried american oak and—as part of our ongoing comparison—seven percent to the best french oak. In February, we chose twenty-three of the thirtysix parcels for the Monte Bello. A conjunction of intense black fruit, firm acid, and well-integrated tannin has produced one of the finest vintages of an unusual decade. Balanced and approachable as a young wine, this lovely Monte Bello will develop beautifully with ten to fifteen years of bottle age. PD (1/01) Color: Deep garnet, brick edge. Nose: Perfumed currant, dried cassis, violet candy, black tea, cedar, licorice, crushed rock. Palate: Sensuous, layered, elegant tannins, black olive, dark berry fruit, cedar, dried tobacco, roasted meat, ferric-rusted iron, polished, finishes with sweet secondary aged flavors. Tasting Notes: Deep garnet with brick-orange edge. Perfumed aromas of dried currant, cherry, black tea, violets, cedar, crushed rock, forest-floor. Sensuous evolved flavors, elegantly resolved tannins, black olive, tobacco, dark berry fruit, lively acid, persistent finish. EB (08/13) www.ridgewine.com | page 10
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WINE SYMPOSIUM In what has become an annual event at Ridge, we invite a dozen or more top sommeliers for two days of tastings and to experience Ridge. The event we call “Wine Symposium” is a great opportunity for these wine professionals to interact on an informal basis with our winemakers, vineyard team, and marketing group. Truth be told this is one of our favorite weeks of the year as we all get high on the energy and passion the sommeliers bring to the Symposium. The schedule is filled with a Monte Bello assemblage tasting, vineyard tours, verticals of our estate wines, a tour of a cooperage, barrel tastings and dinners. The event is split with a day at Lytton Springs in Dry Creek Valley and a day at Monte Bello high atop the Santa Cruz Mountains. This is a perfect opportunity for us to explain in depth the practices in the vineyard and the winery that make Ridge unique. We are told by the sommeliers that this visit to Ridge is an unforgettable experience for any wine professional. 2013 ATTENDEES Vanessa Bazzani , Veritable Quandary, Portland, Oregon Fred Cabrera, Red The Steakhouse, Miami Beach, Florida Fred Dame, American Wine & Spirits, San Francisco, California Philip Hirrel, Marcello’s Chophouse, Albuquerque , New Mexico Bruno Marini, Strega Waterfront, Boston, Massachusetts Augustus Miller, Charlie Palmer, Costa Mesa, California Dave Poore, St. Elmo’s Steakhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana Charles Puglia, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, New York Steve Steese, Shanahan’s, Denver, Colorado Frank Stitt, Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, Alabama Ryan Stotz, Consultant, Eugene, Oregon Our 2013 Wine Symposium Alumni
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2012 ATTENDEES Robert Davis, Edge at the Four Seasons, Denver, Colorado Justin Jelinek, Elway’s at the Ritz, Denver, Colorado Brandt Lens, Mastro’s Steakhouse, Chicago, Illinois James Rahn, Benny’s Chophouse, Chicago, Illinois Jason Sherman, Brennan’s, Houston, Texas Joi Graham, Dominick’s Steakhouse, Scottsdale, Arizona Todd Lincicome, Al Biernat’s Restaurant, Dallas, Texas Heidi Turzyn, David Burke & Donatella, New York, New York Brahm Callahan, Grill 23, Boston, Massachusetts Matt Reiser, Upstairs on the Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts Greg Majors, Craft Restaurant, New York, New York 2011 ATTENDEES Glenn Bardgett, Annie Gunn’s, Chesterfield, Missouri Stefan Blicker, BP Wine, St. Helena, California Sandy Block, Legal Sea Foods, Boston, Massachusetts Roger Dagorn, Porter House, New York, New York Dan Davis, Commander’s Palace, New Orleans, Louisiana Jill Gubesch, Frontera Grill, Chicago, Illinois Jennifer Hazard, Donovan’s Steakhouse, Phoenix, Arizona Elise Loehr, F. Scott’s Restaurant, Nashville, Tennessee David Lombardo, Benchmarc Restaurants, New York, New York Chris Nostvick, Blackbird, Chicago, Illinois Virginia Philip, The Breakers Hotel, Palm Beach, Florida Christopher Sawyer, The Lodge of Sonoma, Sonoma, California Jacob Schwimmer, L20, Chicago, Illinois Cara Schwindt, Stein Eriksen Lodge, Park City, Utah Matt Weiss, BLT Prime, New York, New York Brian Weitzman, MGM Grand/Shibuya, Las Vegas, Nevada Joe Zugelder, Benchmark Wine Group, Napa, California
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OUR WINEMAKERS DAVID GATES, Vice President of Vineyard Operations
PAUL DRAPER, CEO & Winemaker
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JOHN OLNEY, Vice President of Winemaking at Lytton Springs
ERIC BAUGHER, Vice President of Winemaking at Monte Bello
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OUR MARKETING TEAM SEAN YAMAMOTO, Marketing & Sales Coordinator
CHRISTINA DONLEY, Northwest Regional Sales Manager
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DAVID AMADIA, Vice President of Sales & Marketing
DAN BUCKLER, Southwest Regional Sales Manager
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MIKE TORINO, Eastern Regional Sales Manager
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OUR THANKS We want to thank you for your support, interest, and continued enthusiasm for our wines. If you are ever in our area, please don’t forget to drop by, better yet—contact us in advance— we’ll take really good care of you!
MONTE BELLO IN THE SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS 17100 MONTE BELLO ROAD CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA 408.867.3233 LYTTON SPRINGS IN SONOMA COUNTY 650 LYTTON SPRINGS ROAD HEALDSBURG, CALIFORNIA 707.433.7721 CONTACT INFORMATION David Amadia, VP Sales & Marketing, 408.868.1704, email@example.com Dan Buckler, Southwest Region, 415.971.9709, firstname.lastname@example.org Christina Donely, Northwest Region, 707.974.4619, email@example.com Mike Torino, Eastern Region, 561.267.9142, firstname.lastname@example.org Sean Yamamoto, Marketing Coordinator, 408.868.1317, email@example.com
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