Viticulture & Enology Associate Vicky Cordero began her Ridge career as a Viticulture Intern at Monte Bello, and since then has spent time on several key Ridge initiatives and roles. She recently took time to talk about her unique experience, and you can find her answers below:
“I was working at a wine bar in Los Gatos when I applied to Ridge’s internship position at Lytton Springs. Monte Bello doesn’t usually hire interns, but I was located nearby so my information was sent to Kyle Theriot for an internship opportunity in Cupertino. And in April of 2019, I joined ridge as a Viticulture Intern.”
“As long as I’ve been interested in wine, joining Ridge has been a dream! After spending a cumulative six months in France as an au pair, I arrived home in Santa Cruz having learned a new language and having a new appreciation for wine. It seemed everyone in Santa Cruz couldn’t stop raving about Ridge.
Soon after, I accepted a spot within the Viticulture and Enology major at UC Davis. While at Davis, I joined a study abroad program where I visited the winemaking regions of France. One of the professors in the program expressed his love of Ridge wines.
It was clear just how universally lauded Ridge is – who wouldn’t want to be a part of that team? But, what really solidified it for me was hearing from the people at Ridge. In 2018, it was my last quarter at Davis and I enrolled in a seminar that invited wine professionals to share their experiences – one of those speakers was David Gates.
I was incredibly inspired by David’s knowledge, respect for the land, and respect for people. I knew I wanted to learn more and hoped to join a team led by someone with similar values. I took a picture of one of his slides, and sent it to my sister – I still have it, it was a picture of the vineyard crew I am honored to work alongside every day.”
“There’s so much to say, but what I am witness to every day is the knowledge, skill, and talent within our vineyard team. I especially love working with the women’s crew – they are always impressive with their attention to detail!”
“When I first started at Ridge I would drive around in a Kubota, it was so fun! It was an incredible experience watching the sunrise and zooming around – it felt like a nature safari.
I was invited to be a part of the assemblage for the 2019 Monte Bello. I was and continue to be honored to join, even if at the time I was so nervous – I was just an intern! We silently blind taste, and the newest member (me) had to sit next to Paul Draper while he began the discussion. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.
But, harvest is my favorite time of year. The part-time and full-time crews work together and, although the work is physically demanding, the atmosphere is convivial– everyone is singing, dancing, and making bad jokes.”
“I love the Rousten Cabernet Franc. I helped to replant this block with clean material after it had been ripped out due to a red blotch flare-up. I am excited to see it come back into production in the coming years.”
“When I first started at Ridge, my main job was catching ground squirrels. Luckily, and because of my work, squirrels are no longer an area of concern, and not the main part of my job. I also had a stint in the lab.
Now, my work focuses on the vineyards. I do a lot of scouting, as well as managing irrigation sets on younger blocks, maintaining our bluebird boxes, sampling for maturity, performing yield estimates, and helping with various cultural tasks as well as harvest.”
“Champagne – I’ve never been and I love sparkling wines, especially ones with age. I would also be interested to go to Tasmania.”