The storied history of Ridge Vineyards dates to the 19th century. The first owner was a young San Franciscan doctor named Osea Perrone. He bought 180 acres of unproven land along the Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This vineyard was destined for greatness, but first, Prohibition had to be endured.
When William Short acquired the abandoned property in 1940, there was a lot of work to be done. Short replanted the vineyards with Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rebuilding began.
In 1959, Dave Bennion and his three partners bought the land, and produced ten gallons of Cabernet Sauvignon. It was considered to be one of the best Cabs produced at the time, and the momentum of Ridge Vineyards grew.
In the late 1960’s, Paul Draper, a Stanford philosophy graduate, became the winemaker. From the start, Draper produced complex, opulent wines. His artisanal approach to winemaking was a novel concept at the time.
Today, Ridge produces over 60,000 cases of wine per year. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay account for most of the production, but Draper also makes Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah, and Mataro.