1969 - Paul Draper became a chief winemaker
Paul Draper, a winemaker from California who was born on March 10th, 1936, has been the Ridge Vineyards’ chief winemaker since 1969. Draper originally became well-known for his 1971 Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon when it took fifth place at the Judgment of Paris wine competition, despite having no official experience in winemaking. Draper’s innovative work in promoting “vineyard-designated” wines and sparking the recovery of old vine Zinfandel has had a significant impact on the history of California wine. Gag Although Ridge had some success with Cabernet, Draper’s task was to establish Ridge as a “respectable” person. One of the first things he did was update the winery’s infrastructure, which had been constructed in 1886. After that, he turned his attention to Ridge’s Cabernet Sauvignon and started to promote the possibilities of cool climate Cabernet as opposed to the overripe, extremely alcoholic types that originated in warmer climes. The vineyards at Ridge were situated in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA and had a colder environment than those in Napa Valley or Sonoma County due to their high altitude and proximity to the Pacific Ocean.
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