Ridge Estate Chardonnay 2020
100% Chardonnay from the Monte Bello vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The grapes are whole cluster pressed, barrel fermented and aged on the lees for nine months.
Ridge produced its first chardonnay in 1962 from fully mature vines planted in the late 1940s on the Monte Bello estate vineyard. Production never exceeded ten barrels, and Monte Bello Chardonnay was sold principally at the winery.
Several great vintages, among them the 1973, '74, '79, and '84, showed that the cool climate and fractured limestone sub-soils were well suite' to the variety. By 1985, the old vines were producing less then a half-ton per acre and were taken out. The younger vines, planted in the '70s, provide the majority of grapes today. Initially these newer plantings were on the 'lower' vineyard, not yet farmed as part of the Monte Bello Estate—so the wine was called 'Santa Cruz Mountains' and these vines have long since been included. Since 2009 the wine has been designated Ridge Estate Chardonnay. In years when differences among lots are sufficient to warrant a separate bottling, a limited amount of Monte Bello Chardonnay is made as well.