In 1903, the Torre family homesteaded the land which comprises our middle vineyard (2300'). They planted vines and built a small winery, but once Prohibition was enacted in 1920, the vineyards were abandoned and the property passed through several owners. William Short acquired the acreage in the 1940s, planted cabernet and chardonnay on a number of the old parcels in 1949, and sold to Ridge's founding partners in 1959. They made a half-barrel of Monte Bello Cabernet that year. Its exceptional quality convinced them to restore the Torre winery, and to make wine. It was not until 1975 that a small amount of merlot—from a parcel planted in 1968 on the contiguous Perrone land—was included. The merlot proved an excellent complement to the cabernet; three more parcels were planted in the late 1980s. One of these, the "Bowl," on the old Torre vineyard was selected for this limited bottling.
Harvest Dates: 29 September
Average Brix: 24.0 degrees
Fermentation: Destemmed/ whole berry. Natural primary and
natural secondary (malolactic). Pressed at seven days.
Aging: Twenty months in barrel
Rainfall: 28 inches (below average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Cool spring, warm summer and fall, short growing season.
All estate-grown Monte Bello vineyard
grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed whole-berry fermented on the
native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally
occurring bacteria. Minimum effective sulfur (30 ppm initially at
crush, 95 ppm over the course of aging); unfined. Pad filtered at
bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.