History of Ridge

1885

San Francisco Doctor Osea Perrone buys 180 acres on Monte Bello Ridge.

1886

Dr. Perrone plants vineyards and begins construction on the stone and redwood Monte Bello Winery.

1892

Construction completed on the Montebello Winery and the first wine under the Monte Bello label is produced.

1920

The original vineyards are abandoned due to the enactment of prohibition in the United States.

1949

William Short who owns abandoned vineyard land adjacent to the Perrone property replants Cabernet Sauvignon and plants Chardonnay for the first time on Monte Bello.

1959

Four scientists, Dave Bennion, Hew Crane, Charlie Rosen, and Howard Ziedler, from Stanford University's Research Institute (SRI) purchase the property from Mr. Short and make a small amount of wine from the ten year old Cabernet vines in the small winery on the property.

1962

The new owners form a partnership that becomes Ridge Vineyards. They re-bond the winery to again produce wine for commercial sale. First official vintage of Monte Bello.

1966

First vintage of Geyserville.

1968

Ridge purchases the old Monte Bello winery and a small part of the Perrone vineyard property.

1969

Paul Draper joins Ridge Vineyards as winemaker.

1972

First vintage of Lytton Springs.

1976

Ridge comes in fifth among ten French and California wines, at the Paris Tasting, which later becomes known as the Judgment of Paris.

1986

Ridge Vineyards is purchased by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

1988

Paul Draper appointed as Chairman and then as Chief Executive Officer. Ridge buys replanted portions of the Perrone property.

1989

David Gates, Vice President of Vineyard Operations, joins Ridge.

1991

Ridge buys the Lytton Springs Winery and the old vineyards surrounding the winery in Sonoma County.

1994

Eric Baugher, Winemaker at Monte Bello, joins Ridge.

1995

Ridge buys the large western portion of the original estate of Captain Litton in Dry Creek Valley.

1995

John Olney, Winemaker at Lytton Springs, joins Ridge

2000

Paul Draper is named "Man of the Year" by Decanter magazine and receives the "Distinguished Service Award" from Wine Spectator magazine.

2003

Paul Draper receives the first "COPIA Award" for winemaking.

2004

Ridge completes construction of a new winery at Lytton Springs with a focus on the production of Zinfandel.

2005

Paul Draper receives the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the German wine magazine, Wein Gourmet.

2006

The 1971 and 2000 Monte Bello cabernets win first place in both the original vintage wine and new vintage wine categories at the "Judgment of Paris 30th Anniversary Wine Tasting" in London and California.

2007

Paul Draper is given The James Beard Award for winemaking.

2008

Mark Vernon, who joined Ridge in 1998 as General Manager, is appointed President of Ridge Vineyards.

2008

Monte Bello is served at the welcome dinner of the 34th G8 Summit in Japan.

2012

Ridge celebrates 50 years as a bonded winery.

2013

Geyserville is selected to be poured at a dinner hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama for Chinese President Xi Jinping.

2015

Paul Draper named one of the world’s 5 most admired winemakers in a poll of his peers by Decanter Magazine.

2015

Ridge completes land exchange with the mid-peninsula open space district granting rights to forty-two acres of former Monte Bello vineyard land which we will replant in the coming years.

2016

Ridge buys the 36 acre Whitten Ranch, the heart of the Geyserville vineyard.

2016

Paul Draper retires as CEO & Winemaker, stays on as Chairman of the Board

2016

Mark Vernon is appointed CEO as part of a carefully thought through succession plan, in consultation with Paul Draper, to ensure the continued long-term success of the company

2016

East Bench is selected to be poured at the White House for the final State Dinner of the Obama Administration