Evangelho Vineyard: Ancient Vines Endure Against All Odds

Blog Post

…the Evangelho Vineyard is one of California’s most precious viticultural treasures, both a preserved expression of this area’s history and a source of some of the state’s most soulful, distinctive wines.

— Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle

The Location

A truly unorthodox site, the Evangelho Vineyard is located 50 miles east of San Francisco in Contra Costa County and is planted on an ancient alluvial sand bar at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. Planted in the 1890s, the vineyard’s 130-year-old vines have survived the test of time. Evangelho is dry-farmed with roots that bury themselves 40 feet underground in search of water and nutrients, producing some of California’s most unique and expressive wines. The cooling influence of the nearby San Francisco Bay along with the vineyard’s deep, sandy soils produce elegant wines with excellent natural acidity.

1890s-era vines at Evangelho Vineyard in Contra Costa County

Our History Working with Evangelho

Ridge produced its first wine from the Evangelho Vineyard in 1990 and went on to produce small bottlings of mataro and zinfandel from this distinctive 1890s-era vineyard for the next three years. After a 25-year hiatus working with this special site, we were offered the grapes again for the first time in 2018 and were delighted to have the chance to make this wine again.

Label from our first vintage of Evangelho Zinfandel

Our Newest Release: 2019 Evangelho

“Inky and intense once in the glass, the brilliant core of huckleberry, smoke and creme de violette all come together beautifully on the palate. With a generous texture and good length, this outstanding, one of a kind blend, will cellar well for another fifteen years.” -Owen Bargreen, 96 points

Our newest release from the Evangelho Vineyard

Evangelho Vineyard featured on JancisRobinson.com

The theme for Jancis Robinson’s Annual Writing Competition in 2021 was “old vines and old vineyards.” Chris Howard’s piece, “Evangelho – The Vineyard at the End of the World,” on the fascinating history of the Evangelho Vineyard stole the show and won the competition among 136 entries spanning vineyards from around the world.