The road to Ridge Winery is winding and steep at times as you head higher and higher into the northern reaches of the Santa Cruz Mountains. When you begin to wonder if you perhaps took a wrong turn, you arrive at the Ridge Winery tasting room. Nestled high up in the northern reaches of the mountain range, the tasting room is surrounded by historic vineyards and un-paralleled views that seem to continue infinitely. Snapping a few pictures should perhaps be required prior to entering the tasting room.
First planted in the late 19th century, the Monte Bello property has long been one of the most storied viticultural sites in all of California's vast wine country, and its signature offering, the Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello, is one of the most highly-regarded wines in the world.
The tasting room has an elegant lodge like fell, and is modern and sophisticated, while maintaining the boutique winery charm of a quaint tasting room nestled in the mountains. The prevalent use of wood in the building and to construct the tasting bar brings warmth to the tasting room and the staff exudes this same warmth. The staff is very knowledgeable about the wines offered for tasting, as well as the history of the winery. The original Monte Bello Winery was constructed in the late 1890s, with the first vintage being produced under that name in 1892.
Ridge Vineyards has a sister location in Sonoma County; however, the Monte Bello estate is ideal for growing their Bordeaux varietals. When visiting the Monte Bello Ridge Winery location, be sure to seek out the flagship Monte Bello, which is a Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend, and a must taste before departing.