Critical Acclaim

From our vineyards and wines to our people, Ridge has always strived for excellence and is honored to be recognized by our industry’s top critics and peers.

Wine & Spirits Year's Best Zinfandels

October 2020 – Wine & Spirits:

With 21 awards, Ridge is among the top 5 wineries to earn the most Top 100 awards since the buying guide began in 1988.

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March 2019 – Hawk Wakawaka:

“Ridge Monte Bello is considered by many to be among the best wines in the world, and certainly among the most, if not the most famous, from California. Through its Monte Bello Cabernet-based bottling, Ridge helped show that California wine could compete with the most respected wines in the world. At the same time, no other winery in California has done so much to elevate Zinfandel from its early reputation as jug wine to fine wine respectability.”

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Zin grapes on a vine.

September 2019 – Wine & Spirits Magazine:

Ridge, a member of the Wine & Spirit’s Hall of Fame, became a 19-time Award Winner of the ‘Top 100 Wineries of the Year.’

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May 2018 – William Kelley, The Wine Advocate:

“While other wineries’ fortunes have risen and fallen, Ridge Vineyards’ Monte Bello has maintained a record of consistent brilliance unrivaled in California ever since that inaugural vintage. Indeed, this cuvée has won wide recognition as an American first growth, its dependable longevity and classical balance earning it the esteem of domestic and international collectors alike.”

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October 2016 – Ridge Served at The White House State Dinner:

The 2014 East Bench Zinfandel was selected to be served at the last State Dinner of the Obama administration for the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi.

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September 2016 – James Laube, Wine Spectator:

“…47 vintages later, Draper can reflect on an amazing career. Not only elevating Ridge to international acclaim, he took Zinfandel, an underappreciated blending grape, to an elite level as well, rescuing the variety from insignificance by demonstrating its full potential.”

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Monte Bello Vineyard

July 2016 – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media:

“If the United States had a formal classification of estates, Ridge would be the equivalent of a First Growth.”

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July 2016 – Ranked #1 Winery in America – The Daily Meal:

“The winery’s zinfandels are legendary, its cabernet sauvignons highly praised, its chardonnays, merlots, petite sirahs, and Rhône-style blends are top-of-the-line. No wine producer is perfect, 100 percent on all the time — but Ridge comes very close, and we feel confident in naming it the best winery in America for the second time.”

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Paul Draper in front of the vineyard

June 2016 – Jon Bonné, PUNCH:

“But quite simply: The depth of Draper’s contribution to the current extraordinary state of American wine is simply beyond expression.”

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2013 Monte Bello Wine Bottle

June 2016 – Eric Asimov, New York Times:

“The remarkable consistency and beauty of these wines make Monte Bello America’s greatest cabernet sauvignon, in my judgment as The Times’s wine critic.”

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June 2015 – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media:

“Ridge remains one of the finest operations I visit anywhere in the world. The total commitment to quality, value and customer service simply has no equal in this country.”

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Paul Draper and Thomas Keller in the French Laundry

November 2007 – Chef Thomas Keller of The French Laundry – My Last Supper: 50 Top Chefs and Their Final Meals:

What would you drink with your last meal? “Ridge Lytton Springs zinfandel.”

June 2013 – Ridge Served at Presidential Dinner for the President of China:

The 2008 Geyserville was served with a dinner prepared by Chef Bobby Flay at a summit held by President Obama for President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China in June of 2013.

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Paul-Draper

March 2013 – Paul Draper Named Winemaker’s Winemaker:

Paul Draper named Winemakers’ Winemaker by the Institute of Masters of Wine

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August 2011 – Chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse – San Francisco Chronicle, Chez Panisse’s 40th Anniversary:

“When we opened the first day, we had two wines on the list… Mondavi and Ridge’s Geyserville.”

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judges tasting ridge wines at the judgement of paris

May 2006 – 30 Year Re-Enactment of the Judgment of Paris:

On May 24, 2006, a 30-year re-enactment of the Judgment of Paris was organized by Steven Spurrier – this time with simultaneous tastings in London and in Napa, at Copia. The winning wine in both the US and the UK was the 1971 Monte Bello, besting top wines from Bordeaux and Napa.

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December 2006 – Jon Bonné, San Francisco Chronicle:

Paul Draper named Winemaker of the Year.

“Monte Bello, and the rest of the Ridge wines, are proof that Draper’s relentless desire to improve has earned him a rightful place in the annals of American wine.”

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2000 – Food & Wine Magazine:

Paul Draper named Winemaker of the Year.

“Few wineries can rival Ridge’s record of successes, and few wines are more consistently great than this one.” – on the 1997 Geyserville

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Paul Draper at Harvest

2000 – Wine Spectator Distinguished Service Award

“Paul Draper helped lead Californians to the concept of the single-vineyard wine, choosing the underdog Zinfandel grape as his first vehicle of expression. Draper’s wines at Ridge Vineyards are robust, yet refined and graceful.”

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March, 2000 – Decanter:

Paul Draper named “Man of the Year.

Paul Draper is only the third Californian to receive the Decanter Man of the Year accolade…”

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