A Tribute to Tim Boatman: A Visionary and Friend of Ridge Vineyards

Blog Post

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Tim Boatman, the owner of the Boatman Ranch, whose legacy in viticulture has left an indelible mark on Ridge Vineyards and the broader wine community. Tim’s passion, dedication, and vision transformed his family’s land into a vineyard renowned for its exceptional quality and character, enriching our lives and palates with every vintage.

Tim Boatman’s story is one of resilience, vision, and a deep connection to his heritage. His journey began with the legacy of his grandparents, Emilia and Eugene Moretti, who emigrated from San Pellegrinetto, Italy, to America in the early 1900s. Their journey across the Atlantic, braving storms and uncertainty, set the foundation for what would become Boatman Ranch. They settled in northern California, and in 1935, Emilia and Eugene acquired the fifty-acre ranch that would later become the heart of Tim’s viticultural endeavors.

In 1965, at the young age of nineteen, Tim took on the challenge of developing the ranch, following the tragic loss of his father. With only a bulldozer and an old pickup truck, he began to carve out a future rooted in the traditions of his ancestors. Inspired by the terraced vineyards of Tuscany, Tim planted the first grapes in 1972, using budwood from a pioneer vineyard near Lake Sonoma. His tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to the land yielded a vineyard that now boasts a long history of producing exceptional zinfandel.

Our partnership with Tim and his ranch began in 2014, and from the very first vintage, we were captivated by the distinctive quality and character of the wine produced from this unique site. The rocky, terraced vineyard, situated between our Geyserville and Lytton Springs vineyards, quickly became a cherished part of our RIDGE portfolio. Tim’s vision and hard work allowed us to craft exceptional zinfandels that tell the story of the land and the man who brought it to life.

As we remember Tim Boatman, we honor not only his contributions to viticulture but also his spirit and his unwavering dedication to his craft. He was more than a vineyard owner; he was a visionary, a steward of the land, and a beloved friend. We will miss his spontaneous visits to the Lytton Springs Tasting Room and our long conversations about Italian salumi and Monte Bello Chardonnay. Tim’s legacy will continue to live on through the vines he planted, the wines we enjoy, and the memories we hold dear.

Tim, thank you for your friendship, your passion, and your unwavering commitment to excellence. You will be deeply missed, but your legacy will continue to inspire and delight for generations to come.

With heartfelt gratitude and sorrow,
The Ridge Vineyards Team


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