The World’s Most Wanted Zinfandels


February 2024

Our love of zinfandel runs deep. Ridge Vineyards produced its first zinfandel in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard down the ridge from the Monte Bello winery. This was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville. In 1972, we produced the first vintage of our Lytton Springs wine, and in 1991 the Sonoma County winery became part of the RIDGE estate.

We are pleased to see that our commitment to this wine grape is reflected in Wine-Searcher’s Top 10 list of The World’s Most Wanted Zinfandels with not one but two RIDGE Zins: Pagani Ranch and East Bench.

Pagani Ranch Zinfandel

The picturesque Pagani Ranch vineyard lies along Highway 12 in Sonoma Valley near the town of Kenwood. The site, with its rolling hills, Victorian home, and barns is frequently photographed by visitors to the area. Pagani Ranch has a unique place among California vineyards. It is one of very few vineyards comprised primarily of 100 year old vines. The ranch’s 30 acres of turn-of-the-century vines consists principally of zinfandel and petite sirah complemented by minor amounts of mataro (mourvedre) and alicante bouschet. Rooted in a mix of gravelly clay loam, the vines must strike deep into the soil to find nutrients. This keeps berry size and yield low, while intensifying flavor.

Pagani Ranch Zinfandel old vine
zinfandel grapes

East Bench Zinfandel

Located on the benchland on the far Eastern edge of Dry Creek Valley north of the town of Healdsburg, this vineyard is an ideal place to grow zinfandel. The original vines were abandoned in the early 1900’s. More of these vineyard blocks have been replanted each year over the last thirty years. Ridge’s East Bench is produced from vines we planted in 2000 and 2001. A true Dry Creek Valley zinfandel, East Bench shows the characteristic cherry fruit and dusty spice that are the hallmarks of the appellation. 

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