In 1886 the Monte Bello vineyard was first planted and construction on the winery begun.
The first vintage was in 1892. In the early 1940s, the last of the old vineyard was abandoned; in the
late forties a few blocks were replanted. Those cabernet vines—now sixty years old—produced the first Ridge Monte
Bello (1962) and subsequent vintages until the mid-seventies. By then, abandoned blocks replanted during the sixties were maturing,
and their fruit considered for use in the Monte Bello. A number of those consistently produced a more accessible wine that developed its
full complexity earlier and these were combined as the “Santa Cruz Mountains.” With the 2008 vintage the name of this stylistically
distinct wine becomes Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, stressing the varietal and the Monte Bello vineyard as its source.
Harvest Dates: 19 October - 9 November
Grapes: Average Brix 23.8˚
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed, 100% whole berries. Fermented on the native
yeasts. Pressed at eight days. Natural malolactic (30% in barrel, 70% in tank).
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels; (20% new, 40% one and two years old).
Aging: Twenty-One months in barrel
Rainfall: 36 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late June
Weather: Moderate summer and fall.
Estate-grown grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and sorted. Fermented on the native
yeasts, full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria. 88mg/L calcium carbonate
to moderate unusually high natural acidity in eight of twenty-two distinct parcels;
minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35ppm at crush, 82ppm during aging); a fining of
eight fresh, organic egg whites per barrel to soften the texture of the tough tannins. Pad
filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the
sum of our actions.
Winemaker Tasting Notes
Aromas of blackberry, red currant, exotic barrel spice, and crushed rock. Intense red fruit on entry with coated tannins,
a full body, firm acid, and toasted oak. Complex with layered flavors and a long finish.