Did you know that just minutes away from Sunny View Retirement Community lies one of California’s greatest and most storied wineries? That’s right. Ridge Winery (in Cupertino, CA) sits merely a few miles away from one of our own communities and its’ tasting room is open 11 am to 4 pm on the weekends and by appointment throughout the week.
Ridge Winery (bonded in 1962 but with a grape growing history that stretches back to the 1800s) sits atop the “ridge” of the Santa Cruz Mountains just to the west of Sunny View. Part of the Ridge Winery estate is the Monte Bello vineyard which routinely puts out one of the best Cabernet-based wines in the state (and the world). It is actually one of the few California wines intended to be aged, improving and gaining in complexity as it gets older. I’ve tasted (thanks to friends of mine) some 20-year-old Ridge Monte Bello wines and they have never failed to greatly impress everyone at the tasting.
At around $80 per bottle, Ridge Monte Bello certainly isn’t cheap by any standard. But in comparison to the other premier wines of the world (which run anywhere from $100 to $1,000 a bottle upon release) it actually represents a quasi bargain in the fine wine world. And Ridge, thankfully, produces plenty of other wines which are much more wallet friendly, like their Zinfandels which cost anywhere from $12 to $30. Ridge Geyserville is a particularly fine example of what a red Zinfandel can be. They also produce a great Chardonnay for those that are interested.
Ridge Winery, and more specifically its Monte Bello vineyard, has been written about by every major wine writer in the world, from Robert Parker to Jancis Robinson to the Wine Spectator. In 1976, it actually participated in what is now called “The Judgment of Paris” about which there have been books and movies made.
Ridge Winery has long been one of my favorite wineries. I encourage any and all residents, staff and friends of Sunny View to take advantage of the world class winery in your back-yard. You’ll be happy you did (oh yeah, and the views from their winery are amazing)!
– Rob Klose