In 1949 William Short, retired theologian and then-owner of the Ridge "middle" vineyard (2070' - 2390'),
planted several acres of chardonnay, which provided the 1962 estate Monte Bello Chardonnay for the Ridge partners'
first vintage. From 1962 to 1984, limited amounts of chardonnay were produced each year under the Monte Bello designation.
By 1985, younger, replanted vines had begun to supplant the older vines, whose yields had dropped to a quarter-ton per acre.
(To distinguish this wine from the Monte Bello, we called it Santa Cruz Mountains.) Fifteen years later, in 1999, the young vines had
matured; we were able to select several exceptional parcels for a Monte Bello, a practice that continues to the present.
Harvest Dates: 17 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.2 degrees
Fermentation: Whole-cluster pressed. Natural
primary and secondary.
Selection: 100% Monte Bello vineyard chardonnay parcels.
Barrels: 90% air-dried american oak and 10% french oak barrels (32% new, 8%
two years, 56% three and four years old.
Aging: Eleven months in barrel
Rainfall: 36 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late June
Weather: Moderate summer and fall, long, cool growing season.
Sustainably grown Monte Bello estate grapes, hand harvested; whole cluster pressed;
fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring
bacteria; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (25 ppm at the press, 20 ppm over the
course of aging); oak from barrel fermentation and aging; bottled without filtration. In
keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
“...laced with yellow stone fruits, honey, almonds, honeysuckle and butter...the 2011 should age beautifully based on its pure depth…”