News From Ridge Vineyards

Ridge President Mark Vernon to Host ZAP Mediterranean Cruise

August 9, 2012 9:16 AM


ZAP's 2013 Mediterranean 10-Day Cruise

Departs Wednesday, April 24, 2013

From Istanbul, Turkey and sails to Barcelona May 4.


Join Ridge Vineyards President and COO Mark Vernon as you savor a journey of exceptional taste while cruising with ZAP through the Mediterranean Sea and Greek Isles. This 10-night voyage begins where east meets west in Istanbul and travels through the land of the gods. Experience Zinfandel in a whole new way through private shipboard Zinfandel tastings, seminars, and dinners, along with the opportunity to join exclusive wine-themed shore excursions to the most historic, picturesque and vibrant destinations in the Mediterranean.


Enjoy an intriguing blend of activities available only to ZAP cruisers!

  • You’ll be surrounded by people who share a passion and appreciation for Zinfandel.
  • Three renowned vintners take you on an epicurean journey as you sample and discuss more than 40 Zinfandel wines provided by ZAP members.
  • Take the opportunity to join unique wine-and-food-focused shore excursions exclusive to ZAP cruisers, where you can experience local varietals, cuisine and culture.
  • Enjoy an intimate winemaker dinner for 10 people, featuring one of our vintner hosts, who will guide you through an expertly paired, special menu. This full immersion experience brings you up close and personal with favorite wines from one of our winemakers.
  • You will experience your own personal Zinfandel festival


Ports of Call include:

  • Dikili
  • Santorini
  • Zakynthos
  • Taormina
  • Sorrento
  • Civitavecchia/Rome
  • Livorno/Florence
  • Monte Carlo
  • Marseille
  • Barcelona


About Mark Vernon:

Mark has been with Ridge since 1998 and is responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations. Working with the executive team, Mark is focused on insuring Ridge continues its tradition of producing exceptional single vineyard wines while at the same time insuring its financial success.  Mark is a Board Member and works closely with Ridge’s parent company, Otsuka America. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley where he earned a B.A. in Economics. After graduating from Berkeley he continued on to MIT and earned an M.S. in Management from the school’s Sloan School of Management.

Prior to joining Ridge, Mark was CEO of two successful Silicon Valley software companies.  A native Californian, Mark grew up in Palo Alto and became passionate about fine wine as a young adult. He will always remember his first trip up Monte Bello road to taste wine at Ridge and enjoy a picnic lunch there with friends on a beautiful summer afternoon.


Additional Vintner Hosts:

Nils Venge Owner/Winemaker

Saddleback Cellars


Julie Johnson Owner/Winemaker

Tres Sabores


About the Ship: Regent Seven Seas Mariner

  • All-Suite
  • All-Balcony Cabins
  • Extraordinary Service
  • Exceptional Dining
  • Choose from up to 35 complimentary shore excursion


Booking Contact:

Alpine Travel of Saratoga

Lynda Turley Garrett


Cabins from $5949


Information Contact:




About Alpine Travel

Alpine Travel of Saratoga, a member of Virtuoso, is pleased to be the exclusive agency for handling your cruise reservations. Alpine Travel of Saratoga has been helping their clients with luxury vacations since 1969. Lynda Turley Garrett, CTC is also honored as being listed as Travel & Leisure magazines’ “Top 12 A-list super travel advisors” for seven years as Food and Wine Travel Specialist and is chosen by Saveur Magazine for their travel advisory board. You can reach Lynda directly at: 408.379.3853 or email Or visit the website for more details .


About ZAP Cruises

ZAP established the ZinMasters Cruise Program in 2005 to connect with our advocate members, develop enriching seminars, tastings, winemaker dinners, wine and culinary excursions and to raise funds in support of the organization. Bringing together dozens of winemaker hosts with hundreds of adventure-seeking Zinfandel-lovers has fostered lasting friendships and continued to fuel their passions for Zinfandel, serving as informal ambassadors throughout the world.


About ZAP

Zinfandel Advocates & Producers is a 501(c)(3) membership organization dedicated to advancing public knowledge of and appreciation for American Zinfandel and its unique place in our culture and history. Winegrowers, winemakers and wine enthusiasts combine to form the membership. The common focus is the preservation and recognition of Zinfandel as America’s heritage wine.