Ridge Geyserville is a Zinfandel-based red wine blend made from grapes grown in the Alexander Valley AVA which is located just north of Healdsburg in Sonoma County. It is a blend of Zinfandel, Carignane, Petit Sirah and Alicante Bouschet.
In 1962 Ridge made the first of their famous Monte Bello red wine blend and this was followed by their first Zinfandel release in 1964. Although Ridge Vineyards was founded in the early 1960s they can trace their wine-growing history back to 1885 when Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of the northern California Italian immigrant community, planted grapevines on the Monte Bello Ridge. The vineyards passed through various owners until 1959 when it was purchased by David Bennion, Charles Rosen, Hewitt Crane, and Howard Zeidler, all engineers at nearby Stanford Research Institute. David Bennion eventually became winemaker until Paul Draper was hired as winemaker in 1970. Draper went on to make a remarkable 47 vintages for Ridge. Ridge Vineyards was eventually sold to a Japanese company, Otsuka U.S, in 1987 but remains a specialist in single estate wines from vineyards around northern California. The company operates two wineries, one at Monte Bello and one at Lytton Springs. Ridge Monte Bello is a field blend based on Cabernet Sauvignon. The majority of the Ridge’s production is dedicated to Zinfandel with wines such as Geyserville, York Creek and Lytton Springs.
The Geyserville Vineyard is home to oldest vines that Ridge farm. The “Old Patch” section of the vineyard contains vines that are more than 130 years of age. Old vines contribute an intensity and complexity of flavor to the wine that cannot be replicated by any other method. The first vintage was released in 1966. The warm days here are ideal for ripening fruit and give way to frequent evening breezes and occasional morning fog to give the vines time to rest. The soil is made up of deep gravelly loam mixed with larger river rocks, which were deposited by an ancient river that once flowed through the land. This combination not only permits excellent drainage while also allowing the soil to retain heat when necessary, it imparts a distinctive mineral quality to the wine. These attributes, combined with the vineyard’s position three miles south of Geyserville, on the western edge of Alexander Valley creates a perfect growing site for zinfandel and its complementary varieties.
The 2018 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley is blend of 68% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 10% Petit Sirah and 2% Alicante Bouschet. The grapes undergo a full Crush with 100% floating cap. Each variety and each lot are fermented separately using natural yeast fermentation, letting the wines undergo natural malolactic, and employing minimal egg white fining. The wine is aged in 100% air-dried American oak barrels (11% new, 42% one and two years-old, 47% three and four years-old) for 13 months.