Wine: Californian dreaming pays off

A decision to break with the traditions of American wine-making has led to rich rewards at Ridge Vineyards, writes Tomás Clancy.

12th May, 2012
Eric Baugher, director of Winemaking at Ridge Vineyards' Monte Bello Winery. Photo: Jamey Thomas

Think Californian wine and your mind wanders through the trophy estates and manicured wineries of Napa Valley, but there is another Californian wine world. One of hillside vineyards enclosed by forests, cut-off canyons, lakes and swift-running mountain streams. It is just an hour's drive from Silicon Valley and Stanford university.

In the 19th century, when settlers were surveying the land here in the Santa Cruz foothills, they found it to be harsh and rocky with...

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