Ridge Vineyards was founded in 1962, though the history of the Monte Bello vineyard and winery dates back to the 1880s. Paul Draper, who joined Ridge in 1969, is one of the world's most celebrated winemakers. His awards include the Decanter Man of the Year (2000), COPIA Award for winemaking (2004), and the James Beard Award (2007). In 2015, a Decanter Magazine poll of his peers voted him in the top five most admired winemakers in the world. The winemaking for Ridge combines old-school techniques using native yeasts and avoiding filtration. While Ridge is best known for its Cabernet, they are also well known for their range of Zinfandel wines and Zinfandel-based blends. Praise for Ridge's cellar classics from the 1980s by Antonio Galloni: "It’s always a pleasure to have the opportunity to revisit some of the reference point wines that have emerged from Ridge over the last few years. As I have written in the past, if the United States had a formal classification of estates, Ridge would be the equivalent of a Bordeaux First Growth. These wines only serve to further reinforce that view." (06/2017)
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