Ridge Lytton Springs
Ridge Lytton Springs is a deep purple colour. Complex aromas of vanilla, raspberry and black pepper. Full bodied with firm acidity, focused blackberry fruit and an elegant lingering finish.
In 1972, Ridge made its first Lytton Springs from vines planted on the eastern half of the vineyard at the turn of the century. Both the eastern and western portions of the vineyard were purchased in the early 1990s, (In the 1870s, under “Captain” William Litton’s ownership, the two were part of one property; spelling evolved to “Lytton” by 1903.) The vineyard is planted to Zinfandel and its principal complementary varietals.
Harvest Dates: 29 August – 15 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.8˚
Fermentation: Full crush – 100% Natural primary and secondary; pressed at eight days
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (15% new; 45% one, two and three years old; 40% four and five years old).
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel
Hand-harvested, sustainably grown, estate grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 parts per million at crush, 71 ppm over the course of aging); 0.3% water addition; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with their philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of their actions.
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco’s Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892. This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge’s production facility. At 2600′, it is surrounded by the “upper vineyard.”
In the 1940s, William Short, a theologian, bought the abandoned winery and vineyard just below the Perrone property; he replanted several parcels to cabernet sauvignon in the late 1940s. From these vines — now the “middle vineyard”— new owners Dave Bennion, Hew Crane, Charlie Rosen, and Howard Ziedler, all Stanford Research Institute engineers, made a quarter-barrel of “estate” cabernet. That Monte Bello Cabernet was among California’s finest wines of the era. Its quality and distinctive character, and the wines produced from these same vines in 1960 and ’61, convinced the partners to re-bond the winery in time for the 1962 vintage. Dave Bennion left his role at S.R.I. to oversee winemaking duties full time.
Ridge Lytton Springs – Hay Wines
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