Premier Winery Experience participant and Passport to Zinfandel participant Dry Creek Valley
Paul Draper’s influence on the preservation and elevation of California Zinfandel cannot be understated. The Ridge Lytton Springs winery estate in Sonoma is a testament to Draper’s trailblazing vision beginning back in the 1960’s at the Ridge Monte Bello Winery of making mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and old vine Zinfandels. As he saw it, the vineyards that still exist that were planted as far back as the days of the Old West are some of California’s best expressions of terroir – due to their deep roots in the prime locations and soils that were originally identified by California’s first winemakers.
Beginning as Ridge winemaker in the 1960’s, the student of philosophy brought new attention to California’s old vineyards as irreplaceable resources by producing artisanal Zinfandels and mixed-variety “field blends” with profound character, sense of place, and longevity.
The Ridge Lytton Springs winery estate is Ridge’s second winery location (Monte Bello being the original) and is an innovative marvel of modern sustainability and green technology. The 115 year-old field-blended vines around the winery are some of the oldest in Sonoma County and produce one of the truly benchmark wines in Zinfandel-dom – Ridge Lytton Springs. Under the direction of master winemaker John Olney and Monte Bello winemaker Trester Goetting, Ridge today produces nearly 30 bottlings of Zinfandel and field blends from specific vineyards and districts – each one a unique expression of location. Look for Geyserville – a signature Zinfandel field blend which is sourced from just over the hills in nearby Alexander Valley.
A visit to Ridge Lytton Springs on Lytton Springs Road in Dry Creek near Alexander Valley and Healdsburg is a must-do for any lover of Zinfandel. Make an appointment to experience the idyllic timeless setting, taste through an impressive selection of ageworthy Zinfandels, and acquire some of California’s best expressions of California’s old vineyards.