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: 2 - 8 September
Grapes: Average Brix 23.6 degrees
Fermentation: Whole-cluster pressed. Juice aerated and racked to barrel for natural
primary and secondary.
Selection: Three of the Monte Bello vineyard chardonnay parcels.
Barrels: 90% air-dried american oak and 10% french oak barrels (14% new, 31% one
and two years, 56% three and four years old.
Aging: Eleven months in barrel
Rainfall: 30 inches (average)
Bloom: Early June
Weather: Cool, late spring; cold summer; long, mild fall.
All estate-grown Monte Bello vineyard grapes, hand harvested. Whole cluster pressed.
Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring
bacteria. Minimum effective sulfur (30 ppm at the press, 45 ppm over the course of aging);
unfiltered. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum
of our actions.
“Crushed rocks, flint, jasmine and white stone fruits…the 2010 is shaping up to be another classic from Ridge…” -Antonio Galloni