Ridge Vineyards is a California winery specializing in premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Chardonnay wines. Ridge produces wine at two winery locations in northern California. Although Ridge Vineyards was founded in the early 1960s, wine production at the winery's Monte Bello location has a much longer history. Grapevines were first planted on Monte Bello Ridge by Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of the northern California Italian immigrant community, in 1885. The first Monte Bello wine was produced in 1892. Following Prohibition, the vineyard at Monte Bello passed through the hands of several amateur winemakers until it was purchased in 1960 by David Bennion, Charles Rosen,Hewitt Crane, and Howard Zeidler, all engineers at nearby Stanford Research Institute. Ridge Vineyards produced its first commercial wine from the 1962 vintage. Ridge has been under the direction of winemaker Paul Draper since 1969 who has emphasized natural, ecologically sustainable farming and fermentation. Draper is known for drying his own oak staves for use in barrels, which may be a component of the dusty "Draper Perfume" that is characteristic of Ridge wines.
"A wine of great balance, finesse and grace. Well-focused, the ripe, tart, rich blackberry and currant fruit is intense yet elegant, picking up earth, mineral and sage notes, and finishing with fine, well-integrated tannins." (Wine Spectator, June 00)