Ridge Lytton Springs 2018 is a blend of 72% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane, 2% Mataro produced from grapes grown in the Dry Creek Valley AVA of Sonoma County, located to northwest of the town of Healdsburg.
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 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 Ridge Lytton Springs Vineyard is located on the bench and hills separating Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys, just north of Healdsburg, Sonoma County. The soils are varied, with a predominance of gravelly clay; gravelly clay loam on hillsides. The first Ridge Lytton Springs was made in 1972 from vines planted on the eastern half of the vineyard at the turn of the century. Ridge and purchased both the eastern and western portions of the vineyard in the early 1990s, (In the 1870s, under “Captain” William Litton’s ownership, the two were part of one property and spelling evolved into Lytton by 1903). Lytton Springs is planted with 100+ years old Zinfandel vines which are interplanted with Petite Sirah, Carignane, a small amount of Mataro (Mourvèdre), and Grenache.
The 2018 Ridge Lytton Springs is blend of 72% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane, 2% Mataro. Each variety and each lot are fermented separately using natural yeast fermentation, letting the wines undergo natural malolactic, and employing minimal egg white fining.