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Sitting above the fog line, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA is a diverse region made up of numerous microclimates. This diversity allows for a diversity of grape varieties, from Chardonnay...

One of the most iconic California wines is Ridge Monte Bello. It is a Cabernet Sauvignon that needs little explanation. It is a wine that is admired and enjoyed and I had the privilege to sit down for a tasting of eight vintages at Pebble Beach Food & Wine, as I wrote about in the Napa Valley Register and you can read here. ************* Ridge Monte Bello is considered “the most internationally admired producer of American Cabernet Sauvignon” by the Oxford Companion to Wine.
Since 1962, Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello has been garnering recognition, from placing fifth at the 1976 Judgement of Paris to receiving four 100-point scores from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. So, when I had the opportunity to sit down and taste wines spanning five decades of this historic vineyard at Pebble Beach Food & Wine, I did not hesitate.
Ridge Vineyards’ Monte Bello is an iconic California wine. However, is it also one of the most unusual. For one thing, it is not from Napa Valley, or any other marquee regions, but rather the remote Santa Cruz Mountains. In fact, it is the wine that defines the Santa Cruz Mountains.