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

August 2022 – Wine & Spirits:

With 22 awards, Ridge is among the top 5 wineries to earn the most Top 100 awards since the buying guide began in 1988.

April 2022 – Drinks International:

The long road toward establishing Ridge’s credentials in all of the great wine capitals of the world began in 1973 with our first export shipment to the UK. Today Ridge is found in more than 50 countries around the globe, and on the wine lists of the world’s best restaurants. The acknowledgment of these decades of work was reaffirmed when Ridge Vineyards was named the 27th most admired wine brand in the world by Drinks International.

October 2021 – Golden Vines:

The Golden Vines aims to become the definitive international award recognizing and celebrating excellence in the fine wine industry. Ridge Vineyards was awarded ‘Best Fine Wine Producer in the Americas’ at the Inaugural Golden Vines Awards in 2021.


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.”

Center align button

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.’

Center align button

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.”

Center align button

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.

Center align button

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.”

Center align button
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.”

Center align button

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.”

Center align button
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.”

Center align button
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.”

Center align button

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.”

Center align button
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.

Center align button

March 2013 – Paul Draper Named Winemaker’s Winemaker:

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

Center align button Center align button

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.”

Center align button
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.

Center align button Center align button Center align button

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.”

Center align button

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

Center align button
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.”

Center align button

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…”

Center align button