Monte Bello is a storied locale. There is no getting around it. It’s where Ridge began. The first vintage was 1962. It’s 2011 now. That’s a lot of years to be making wine, and a lot of years to be hosting people for tastings. Talk to the old timers. They remember when it was just Paul Draper, sitting on a bench, ladling Monte Bello out of a soup tureen while feral dogs ran wild through the vineyards. (Disclaimer: Paul never used a ladle.)
Seriously though, things have changed a bit, and also not so much. But the point is, Monte Bello has a lot of history notched into its belt when it comes to tasting wine.
Lytton Springs is the diamond in the rough. History for days (can you say 115+ year-old vines?), a stunning legacy of Single-Vineyard Estate Wines (anyone notice that bit from Thomas Keller –French Laundry– about how he would choose Lytton Springs if it was to be his last wine on earth?) but a wee youngun’ when it comes to tastings.
Have you been there? If you have, then you don’t need no stinkin’ convertin’. But if you’ve not yet made the pleasure of acquaintance with all that goes on up there, I am here to help you dig it to the fullest extent of your cranial-emotive capabilities.
The staff at Lytton Springs? Amazing. The location? Amazing. The wines. Amazing.
But I am telling you, they also know how to put on an AFFAIR! I mean, a Top-Shelf, Grade A, USRDA approved, #1, Top of the Pops, Presidential Seal of Approval, HAPPENING.
Take the very recent Old Vine to Table event as but one example. And then hire a detective, who is able to travel through time and space, in a rocket ship, to go find your mind. Because it will be blown.
Put another way, what an event!
Just a little something Lytton Springs threw together for some members. Just a little somethin’ somethin’ …
Meaning, a gourmet four-course meal amidst the backdrop of our century-old vines. With featured wines including the following:
–1987, 1994, 2003, 2004 & 2008 Lytton Springs
–1995 Monte Bello
–2007 Geyserville Essence
And did I mention that dinner was prepared from ingredients entirely sourced from Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma? Or that Farm owner Tara Smith and her husband Craig were on hand to host?
And if that’s not enough, did you also know that Winemaker John Olney, President Mark Vernon, Vice President of Vineyard Operations David Gates, and Vice President of Sales David Amadia were also there?
I mean, hell’s bells, this thing was interstellar on fire magnificent!
Alright, dig, I know, you want to know more about the food. Well, menu up yourself!
Passed Hors d’ Oeuvres
House Cured Wild Pacific Salmon
Spring Pea Blini, Flowers & Bell Creme Fraiche
Pickled Beef Tongue Crostini
Farm Egg, Maple, Brioche
Chicken Crepinette, Maitake, Pickled Grapes
Slow Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Spoon Bread, Cilantro, Hibiscus, Charred Pineapple
Redwood Hill Cheddar Fondue Potatoes, Fava Beans, French Onion Broth
(cheffed up by the very great folks at Feast!)
Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.
I’m just sayin’, this was some kind of special event, and do you really want to know what made it the special-est? Not the century-and-then-some- old-vines, not the roster of Ridge principals on hand, not the Fondue Potatoes (though good lord, that sounds good!), not even the wine. It was the guests in attendance. Just really fine, fine, folks. The best.
On behalf of us all, thank you for attending this very special event. It was such a pleasure to have you.
And to everyone out there, while we can’t promise an event like this every day, we do really want you to visit us, because we love what we do; we love these wines,we love the how, where, what, why of how they’re made, and more than anything else, we love to share them with you, to talk about them with you, and perhaps best of all, to hear from you later, when you tell us all the amazing stories about the how, where, what, why of how you ended by sharing the wine you took home from us.
Old Vine to Table? Certainly. But event more than that? Us to You.