Timeline

1885

Dr. Osea Perrone of San Francisco buys 180 acres on Monte Bello Ridge, plants vines, builds a stone winery.

1892

Perrone produces the first Monte Bello.

1949

On Monte Bello Ridge, Dr. William Short, owner of the Torre vineyard adjacent to the Perrone property, replants several blocks of cabernet and for the first time a block of chardonnay.

1959

Three scientists from Stanford University's Research Institute (SRI) and their families form a partnership and buy Dr. Short's property on Monte Bello Ridge. One of them, David Bennion, makes a half barrel of cabernet from the ten year old vines.

1962

The partners re-bond the winery and name it Ridge Vineyards. That year they produce their first Monte Bello.

1964

Ridge produces its first zinfandel from 19th century vines on the Pichetti Ranch near the base of the Monte Bello Ridge.

1966

Ridge produces the first Geyserville, from vines planted in 1882 in Sonoma County.

1969

Paul Draper joins the partnership as winemaker.

1972

Ridge produces the first Lytton Springs from vines planted in 1901.

1974

First international shipment to Averys Wine Merchant in Bristol, England.

1976

Judgement of Paris: Steven Spurrier organizes a tasting of California cabernets and chardonnays and top French wines. To everyone's surprise, California beat the French in both the red and white flights. The 1971 Monte Bello comes in 5th.

1977

Ridge launches the Advance Tasting Program, ATP, America's first wine club.

1989

David Gates joins Ridge as Vineyard Manager. In 2001 he becomes Vice President of Vineyard Operations, and in 2016 he becomes Senior Vice President of Vineyard Operations.

1991

Ridge buys the Lytton Springs winery and its old vineyards.

1994

Eric Baugher joins Ridge as Assistant Chemist. In 1999 he is promoted to Laboratory Manager. In 2001 he is elevated to Vice President of Winemaking at Monte Bello and in 2016 he achieves the title COO.

1996

John Olney joins Ridge as Cellar Worker at Monte Bello. In 1999 he becomes Assistant Winemaker/General Manager. In 2001 he becomes Vice President of Winemaking at Lytton Springs and in 2016 he also attains the title of COO.

1998

Mark Vernon joins Ridge as General Manager. In 2001 he becomes COO and in 2016 he becomes CEO.

2005

David Amadia joins Ridge as Vice President of US Wholesale. He is promoted to President of Ridge in 2016.

2006

30 year repeat of the Judgement of Paris. The 1971 and 2000 Monte Bello cabernets win first place in both the original vintage wine and new vintage wine categories in London and California.

2012

Ridge celebrates its 50 year anniversary.

2015

At Monte Bello, 42 plantable acres available through an exchange agreement with Mid-Penninsula Regional Open Space District.

2016

Paul Draper retires at age 80, after 47 years as winemaker. Ridge purchases Whitton Ranch, a 36-acre parcel which is the heart of the Geyserville wine.