The New York Times’ Eric Asimov published an article about Paul Draper and his retirement announcement. Here are excerpts from the article:
“Paul Draper, who as winemaker and chief executive has led Ridge Vineyards for more than 45 years as it became one of the world’s most celebrated wine producers, is retiring, Ridge will announce on Wednesday.
Mr. Draper, who turned 80 this year, will hand over responsibilities to a team of executives who have been with Ridge for decades. Mr. Draper will continue as chairman of the board to oversee the transition. The executives who will succeed him — Mark Vernon, Eric Baugher, John Olney and David Gates — have already been running day-to-day operations at Ridge for some time.
Since Mr. Draper took charge of the winemaking at Ridge in 1969, the quality and style of Monte Bello has been remarkably consistent, even as prevailing wine styles shifted radically in the 1990s.
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.”