A Toast to History: Ridge Vineyards’ Legacy at the White House

Blog Post

Over the past 40+ years, RIDGE has produced wines of excellent quality and unique character establishing a legacy as a preferred choice for America’s most distinguished events. From state dinners to national events, RIDGE wines have graced the tables of some of the most prestigious gatherings in our nation’s capital. Here, we explore the notable occasions where Ridge Vineyards shared the stage with presidents, global leaders, and dignitaries.

October 12th, 1982: A State Dinner with President Suharto

The tradition of featuring Ridge wines at the White House began on October 12th, 1982, during a state dinner hosted by President Ronald Reagan in honor of President Suharto of Indonesia. The chosen wine for the evening was the 1980 Amador Zinfandel, a bold and distinctive choice. This event marked the beginning of Ridge Vineyards’ long-standing relationship with the White House.

May 3rd, 1999: Honoring Prime Minister Zeizo Obuchi

On May 3rd, 1999, during an official dinner in honor of Prime Minister Zeizo Obuchi of Japan, President Bill Clinton served the 1991 Monte Bello. This exquisite wine was paired with Herbed Lamb Rack over New Potatoes and Honshimeji Mushrooms. The Monte Bello was a perfect match for the savory lamb and earthy mushrooms.

June 29th, 2005: Celebrating with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

On June 29th, 2005, President George W. Bush hosted an official dinner in honor of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan. The evening featured the 2004 Lytton Springs, a wine celebrated for its rich flavors and balanced structure. It was perfectly paired with Texas Kobe Beef with Cracked Black Pepper and Shitake Mushroom Jus. The bold and robust Lytton Springs enhanced the succulent beef and the umami-rich mushroom jus.

June 7th, 2013: The Obama-Xi Summit

While not technically held at the White House, this political summit was of great significance and thus worthy of mention here. June 7th and 8th, 2013, President Barack Obama hosted President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China for an official working meeting at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California. The two days of productive meetings included a private dinner in the Sunnylands estate dining room prepared by renowned American chef Bobby Flay. The 2008 Geyserville was the choice for this evening, paired with a Porterhouse of American Beef, Smoked Steak Sauce, and New Potatoes with Blue Cheese.

October 18th, 2016: A Night with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

On October 18th, 2016, President Barack Obama hosted a state dinner in honor of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy. The chosen wine on this occasion was the 2014 East Bench Zinfandel. Paired with Beef Braciole Pinwheel with Horseradish Gremolata and Broccoli Rabe, the wine’s fruit-forward profile and spice notes perfectly balanced the savory beef and the zesty gremolata.

February 24th, 2024: The National Governors Association Ball

Most recently, on February 24th, 2024, President Joe Biden featured the 2021 Estate Chardonnay at the National Governors Association Ball. This event, bringing together governors from across the nation, was a perfect occasion to showcase Ridge Vineyards’ chardonnay from the Monte Bello Vineyard. Paired with Housemade Burrata, Early Spring Vegetables, and Basil Puree, the crisp and vibrant character of the Estate Chardonnay enhanced the creamy burrata and the fresh, verdant flavors of the spring vegetables.

Presidential Chardonnay Gift Pack

To celebrate our Estate Chardonnay’s inclusion at the White House’s National Governors Associate Ball, we’re releasing a limited number of commemorative gift packs. The gift packs include our 2021 Estate Chardonnay with a replica of the evening’s menu presented in a RIDGE gift box.


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