Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Ridge's Lytton Springs

This winery was my dad's choice - I traveled with my parents to celebrate me turning 30 and their 35th wedding anniversary.  I didn't know anything about Ridge but he said their wines are good.  Good enough for me!  We had both an estate tour and a tasting, which took us through the vines, talked about the history and gave us a look at the fermentation tanks.  All this was concluded with a tasting in a private room where the wines were paired with cheeses and crackers that complimented the wines.

Ridge is made up of 11 different vineyards throughout California, all of which are single-vineyard.  We may have been at Lytton Springs in the Dry Creek Valley, but we were able to taste wines from around the vineyards.  Lytton Springs is a Zinfandel single-vineyard, with vines that are over 100 years old, but they also grow other grape varietals for blending purposes.

View from out tour

One bit of history we learned was the Monte Bello, a Bordeaux blend, was a red wine entered in to the Judgement of Paris 1976, a bottle of 1971.  A Bordeaux blend is where Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary grape, but then a small amount of merlot/petit verdot/cabernet franc is blended in.  The Monte Bello ranked 5th among the red wines in the 1976 Judgement of Paris, but when the tasting was done 30 years later, it came in 1st.  Our tour guide mentioned how well Ridge wines age, and the 2006 Judgement was proof of that.

2012 Pagani Ranch Zinfandel
2012 Lytton Springs
2013 Lytton Estate
2012 Estate Cab
2011 Monte Bello

I think my favorite was the Estate Cab.  A fun tidbit was we were told to leave some wine in our glasses and let the wine get more air.  More flavors come out of the wine that way and it was fun testing that theory.


  1. I know very little about wine but I do enjoy a good history lesson!

    Glad you enjoyed it! -M

    1. I think it's always fun to learn the history of a vineyard. Sometimes they want to make one wine and end up making something different (and learning why).