The history begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge, producing the first vintage under Ridge Vineyard’s name in 1892. Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology. The viticulture is sustainable, almost entirely organic and avoid additions in the wine-making as much as possible. There is no mechanical processing except for gentle filtration at bottling and traditional desteming and pressing. Their approach is straightforward: find intense, flavourful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit's distinctive character and richness into the wine. (www.ridgewine.com)
Arguably Americas most important wine growing region, home to the likes of Dominus, Heitz, Cain Cellars and Opus One. Bordeaux varietals are key in this 40 mile long North-South valley that stretches from the San Fransico Bay up towards Calistoga and the sheer variety of different climats and vineyard sites is as bewildering as the sheer variety of styles of wine produced. At their best these can be some of the most opulent examples of Cabernet Sauvignon in the world - truly great wines with dinstinctly long cellaring potentials, but more youthful approachability than their european counterparts.