Today is Passport Saturday, and I am in the mood to celebrate!
A great many reasons!
One, I love this appellation!
And, I’m not the only one. Check this out:
“There is no doubt in my mind the Santa Cruz Mountains is the greatest and most overlooked terroir in the United States. Period. Actually, it is probably more accurate to distinguish between the eastern and western part of a mountain range divided by the San Andreas Fault. While quite different in terms of the characteristics, both parts of the mountains are capable of world-class wines. From the famed Bordeaux influenced reds produced at Ridge and other nearby estates to the extraordinary, age worthy Chardonnays and Pinots of Mount Eden, to the younger wineries like Rhys, Varner and Big Basin, there is no doubt in my mind the Santa Cruz Mountains is the single most exciting place to visit in California. No other region offers the same mix of history, innovation and what appears to be virtually unlimited potential. To be sure, these hillside sites are capricious and hard to work with. But they are also capable of producing riveting, emotional, world-class wines.”
— Antonio Galloni in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Two, it’s a great event. To find out more, please visit the event’s sponsor, the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrower’s Association.
Three, we extra-special help to make it a great event! How so? I don’t mean to brag, but check out what we’re pouring today:
2011 Jimsomare Chardonnay
Ultra-rare winery-only offering, newly-released. For more, please click here.
2011 East Bench Zinfandel
95 points, and Best In Show, Quarterly Review of Wines. For more, please click here.
2004 GeyservilleA rarity from the library! Plus, 94 points from Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine. Only available at Monte Bello today!
2010 Estate Cabernet
95 points, Top 100 of the Year, Wine Enthusiast Magazine. For more, please click here.
2007 Monte BelloOur flagship! Library Monte Bello! For more, please click here
So, those are all great reasons to celebrate.
But for me, there is another component to this; a very special component.
Today is a very significant milestone for me.
Today is the 5-year anniversary of the very first shift I ever worked in the Monte Bello Tasting Room!
It was July Passport, 2008, and I had just been hired by Ridge. I was exhilarated, and terrified. But it was a great day! A crazy day! A cray-cray bizzee day! But, a great day.
When it was all over, I asked my supervisor if I’d done alright. She looked at me, and said, “The best compliment I can give you is I didn’t have to think about you.”
I was very pleased.
Gosh, to think of all I’ve learned since that first day. To think of what I’m still learning!
For example, just the other day, after spending a fantastic morning Witnessing The Birth of a Vineyard, I learned about green-growing bench grafts. Green-growing bench grafts! Crazy …
I have learned so much here, and so much has changed. Consider my “department.” When I first started, there was a tasting room, and it was open on Saturdays and Sundays. That was it. Now, we offer semi-private and private tastings, food & wine pairings, educational seminars and sensory analysis opportunities, vineyard walks, wine dinners, large- and small-scale culinary events, and more! First Friday? Nope! Zins, Blends, & BBQ? Nope! Farm to Grill? Nope!
Plus, in 2008? No blog!
Hard as it is to imagine, there was in fact a world that existed prior to “4488: A Ridge Blog.”
Gosh, when I think of the impact this blog has had on my life …
Listen, what are you doing today? Are you anywhere near us? If so, do you wanna come up? We’d love to have you. We’re havin’ a great celebration up here. It’s Passport. And we’re havin’ a ball.
Plus, five years!
To think of what this opportunity has meant for me …
Listen, to everyone who has ever visited, who has ever attended an event, who has ever read this blog, I thank you! You’ve made this a great five years.
Here’s to the next five! And the five after that! And after that, and after that, and after that … well, you get the idea.
Deep Bows to you all …
This is Passport #5 for me. What’s your count?
Categories: Viticultural Salmagundi, Wine Tales, Food & Wine Pairing, Tasting Rooms, History, Monte Bello, Events & Photographs, Tasting Flights, Vineyards and Oenology, RIDGE Staff, Wine Blogs, Special Offerings, Wine & Food Pairing, Tasting Events/Opportunities