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Ridge Vineyards, known for its stellar reds, began when San Francisco doctor Osea Perrone bought 180 acres of land near the top of Monte Bello Ridge in California's Santa Cruz Mountains. The cellar, which is also the present-day production site, was built into the mountainside on three levels. After success with several Cabernet Sauvignon vintages in the 1940s, the Perrone family decided to buy the terraces back and began producing high-quality Zinfandel and Cabernet. By the '60s, Ridge was a 45-acre vineyard and produced its first Geyserville Zinfandel. Today, Ridge also has vineyards in Sonoma and Paso Robles. While Cabernet and Zinfandel make up most of Ridge's production, small amounts of Carignan, Syrah, Grenache, and Petite Sirah are also grown.See all California producers
See other similar producers:Duckhorn Wine Company,Turley Wine Cellars,Behrens & Hitchcock Winery
California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like , , , and in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. and continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.