On July, 26th, the Daily Meal announced their annual “101 Best Wineries in America” list, and for the second time, Ridge has been awarded the top spot.
“Eduardo Bolaños, sommelier for the Terroni Group restaurants in Los Angeles, speaks for most wine-lovers when he calls Paul Draper “just an icon of winemaking.” The 80-year-old Draper, who has effectively run this legendary winery (founded in 1962) since 1969, retired as CEO and head winemaker this year, but remains chairman of the board, and there’s no reason to suspect that the high standards and unmistakable style he has established will change. Ridge has been an industry leader almost from the beginning years, making superb, traditionally styled wines from some of California’s best vineyards with almost eerie consistency. Ridge subscribes to the philosophy that winemaking should be as natural as possible, and the winery’s fantastic quality is achieved through sustainable farming, hand picking and sorting of grapes, use of native yeasts, naturally occurring malolactic fermentation, and minimal employment of SO2. Ridge produces vineyard-specific varietals and blends from the Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, and Paso Robles AVAs. The oldest of the Ridge estates, Monte Bello, was first planted in 1885, abandoned after prohibition, and replanted in the 1940s. As the vines age, yield drops, but the remaining grapes keep gaining in concentration and complexity. The winery’s zinfandels are legendary, its cabernet sauvignons highly praised, its chardonnays, merlots, petite sirahs, and Rhône-style blends are top-of-the-line. No wine producer is perfect, 100 percent on all the time — but Ridge comes very close, and we feel confident in naming it the best winery in America for the second time.”
Read The Article at TheDailyMeal.com