Since the first vintage in 1966, Geyserville has displayed an unparalleled consistency of character with each subsequent offering. We attribute this to the distinctive character of the site and to our commitment to sustainable agriculture. Working the land in a sustainable fashion means that we take an environmentally conscious approach to the whole vineyard through techniques such as integrated pest management, cover cropping, composting, and hand harvesting. Farming the land as gently as possible is what allows us to capture the uniquely distinctive character of Geyserville year after year.
Geyserville is home to the oldest vines we farm. The “Old Patch” section of the vineyard contains vines that are more than 130 years of age. Old vines contribute an intensity and complexity of flavor to the wine that cannot be replicated by any other method. We take a natural approach to winemaking to ensure the true expression of these extraordinary old vine characteristics. We do not use chemical treatments, membrane filtration, or sterilization, as these techniques can strip color, flavor, and texture from the wine. Rather, we adopt a non-industrial approach to winemaking, including using only natural yeast fermentation, to make certain that intensity, complexity, and character are retained.
Geyserville is a traditional field blend of zinfandel and its complementary varieties: carignane, petite sirah, and mataro (mourvedre). Each vintage is unique, distinct, extraordinary… yet they do have elements in common, including the blackest of blackberry fruit, ripe plum, rich cherry, and cedar. A remarkably consistent and elegant wine with exceptional layering, Geyserville’s unique flavor characteristics are often attributed to the relatively higher percentage of carignane, added to the petite sirah found in most of our other zinfandels. Among the most age-worthy of Ridge wines, Geyserville often drinks beautifully well beyond 10 years of age.
Here, warm days ideal for ripening fruit give way to frequent evening breezes and occasional morning fog to give the vines time to rest. The soil is made up of deep gravelly loam mixed with larger river rocks, which were deposited by an ancient river that once flowed through the land. This combination not only permits excellent drainage while also allowing the soil to retain heat when necessary, it imparts a distinctive mineral quality to the wine. These attributes, combined with the vineyard’s position three miles south of Geyserville, on the western edge of Alexander Valley creates a perfect growing site for zinfandel and its complementary varieties.
The history of Geyserville cannot be told without mentioning the Trentadue family. Leo and Evelyn Trentadue sold the Monte Bello Winery to the four founding partners of Ridge, and the founders purchased fruit from the oldest vines on the Trentadue’s Sonoma ranch on the southern edge of the Geyserville township. From that purchase, the first vintage of Ridge Geyserville was born. The close relationship with the Trentadues continues to this day. Ridge has made Geyserville as a single-site zinfandel every year since 1966.