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The Greatest Vintner In America…

Most folks living in, or visiting for that matter, Silicon Valley head to Napa to sample wines and enjoy the scenery. Most are oblivious to Ridge Winery, nestled in the hills above the Valley – about 45 minutes from San Jose.

Here’s a terrific article that might inspire you to head-up to the tasting room and take in the stunning views.

If you’re looking to make a patriotic statement with your wine choice this Thanksgiving, here’s a suggestion: Give thanks to Ridge Vineyard’s Paul Draper by drinking one of his wines. Draper, 70, is arguably the greatest winemaker America has ever produced. Ridge’s Monte Bello, produced in a vineyard high above Silicon Valley, has been the iconic American cabernet sauvignon for nearly four decades now and is widely considered the equal of Bordeaux’s first growths. Draper almost single-handedly turned zinfandel, a nonentity of a grape not so long ago, into a serious, agreeable wine. He also makes some of the finest California chardonnays on the market. But it often seems that Draper is more appreciated in Europe than he is at home. This Thanksgiving, it’s worth giving the deity his due….

John Kapon, the president of Acker Merrall & Condit, the New York-based wine auction house and retailer, put it rather emphatically in an e-mail:

There is no question that Draper and Ridge, as well as others like Randy Dunn, Bo Barrett to name a couple, are underappreciated/overlooked in the context of American wine and its history. The cult wines have been getting all the hype and attention but many of them crack up after 5 or 7 years in the bottle… . Hype sometimes wins over substance, but the real winners will be those who let wines like Ridge stay in their cellar!

Ridge, like its other Valley counterparts are massively underappreciated wineries.

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