The expansive views are breathtaking in every direction, looking out toward the Alexander Valley. Cool, foggy mornings, hot afternoon sun and breezy evenings are ideal growing conditions for Zinfandel.
Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs’ current flagship wine is the 2012 Lytton Springs, a spicy field blend of 113 year-old vines of Zinfandel, Petit Sirah, Carignane and Mataro. Having survived Prohibition, climate change and years of neglect, these grapes are hand-selected from the five to seven center rows of the vineyard for the iconic field blend.
Historically, Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs vineyard was once part of land owned by Captain William Litton, who developed the springs and built a hotel just east of the vineyard during the last half of the 19th century. The resort was built for wealthy San Franciscans who would travel to the area by train to “take the waters.”
Fast forward to the 1970’s when Wine Guru /Founder Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello discovered the old vines. Entranced, Draper purchased the grapes and produced the first bottling from Lytton Springs in 1972. The estate was added to the Ridge Vineyards portfolio in 1991. The rest is history.
To enhance your tasting experience, the tasting menu combines wines from both the Ridge Monte Bello vineyards in Santa Cruz mountains and the Ridge Lytton Springs in Dry Creek Valley. Primarily single vineyard red varietals, there are a few Chardonnay vintages from the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA to taste, such as the 2012 Chardonnay Monte Bello Vineyards plus a few library wines as well.
The 2012 East Bench Zinfandel, (100% Zinfandel) from Dry Creek Valley and the 2010 Mazzoni Home Ranch (Carignane, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah) from Alexander Valley are intense and bold.
The tasting room staff is quite knowledgeable. Ask about the landmark 1976 Judgement of Paris Tasting where the 1971 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello placed fifth, competing with France’s finest wines.
Thirty years later, a re-enactment of the Judgement of Paris was held in London and Napa simultaneously, with the same vintages. That time, the 1971 Ridge Monte Bello took first place, proving that California wines can age as well, if not better than the French wines.
For a truly memorable tasting and remarkable wines, visit Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs! www.ridgewine.com