2020 Monte Bello Chardonnay

2020 Monte Bello Chardonnay

Wine Information

100% Chardonnay, Organically Grown




Monte Bello


Santa Cruz Mountains

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Bright golden hue with aromas of pear, apple blossom, lemon, and wet gravel. Full-bodied with a weighty entry that is lifted by lively acidity and a long, juicy finish. TG (11/22)

Vintage Notes

Mild summer weather cooled by fog ended in late August with several days of intense heat. Given the small crop, flavors ripened fully for a harvest in the first days of September. After barrel fermentation, two lots, one from Rousten and one from Perrone, were selected for their subtle fruit and minerality. Enjoyable upon release, this complex chardonnay will age over the next eight years. JO (3/22)


In the late 1940’s William Short, retired theologian and then-owner of the Ridge Torre vineyard (2070’ – 2390’ elevation), planted several acres of chardonnay, which provided the 1962 estate Monte Bello Chardonnay for the Ridge partners’ first vintage. From 1962 to 1984, four to eight barrels of chardonnay were produced each year under the Monte Bello designation. By 1985, younger, replanted vines had begun to supplant the older vines, whose yields had dropped to a quarter ton per acre and we changed the designation to Santa Cruz Mountains. By 1999, the young vines had matured; we were able to select, in most years, several exceptional parcels for a Monte Bello Chardonnay, a practice that continues to this day.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 22.4 inches (below normal)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Average rains in December led to dry weather in January and February. A very wet March and April helped the vines during the growing season. Unsettled weather in June saw several heat spikes in between cool spells. The rest of the summer was mild until the middle of August, when hot temperatures, which continued into early September, expedited ripeness.


Harvest Dates: 1 & 3 September
Grapes: Average Brix 23.4˚
TA: 5.88 g/L
pH: 3.55
Fermentation: Grapes whole-cluster pressed and barrel fermented. Natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic) fermentations.
Barrels: 90% air-dried American and 10% French oak barrels (10% new, 30% three years old, 30% four years old, and 30% five years old).
Aging: Seventeen months in barrel

Hand-harvested, estate-grown, organic Monte Bello grapes; whole cluster pressed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel fermentation and aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at juice barrel down,105 ppm over the course of aging); bottled without filtration. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

Food Pairings

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