10 Questions for Paul Draper: #1

With this post, we launch a 10-day series of questions and answers with Paul Draper, Ridge Vineyards’ winemaker and CEO. Enjoy!

Paul Draper

1-    In 1976, the famous Paris tasting showed the world the potential of California and the New World to produce wines that could compete with the most famous French wines. In the second edition of Paris tasting in 2006, Monte Bello 1971, 35 years old, was elected the best wine of the tasting. Was this victory a proof that California wines are not only good but can age as well?

 After the original Paris tasting in 1976, comments were made in France that with 30 years the Bordeaux wines would come into their own full potential while the California wines would have completely faded. When the original tasting was repeated in London and in California in 2006, the 1971 Monte Bello came in first place 18 points ahead of the second place wine.  This was clear evidence that some California wines could age as well or better than the best Bordeaux wines.

***Do you have a question for Paul? Let us know! wine@ridgewine.com***

(“10 Questions for Paul Draper” questions composed by Rodrigo Mainardi of Mistral, Brazlian Distributor for Ridge Vineyards)


Paul Draper grew up on an eighty-acre farm in the Chicago suburb of Barrington. After attending the Choate School and receiving a degree in philosophy from Stanford University, he lived for two years in northern Italy. Later he attended the University of Paris and traveled extensively in France, gaining practical experience in traditional winemaking. In the mid-sixties, with a close friend, he set up a small winery in the coast range of Chile and produced several vintages of cabernet sauvignon. He joined Ridge Vineyards in 1969, and presently resides atop Monte Bello Ridge with his wife Maureen and daughter Caitlin. He is known for his crafting of fine cabernets and chardonnays from the Monte Bello estate vineyards, and as a pioneer in the production of long-lived, complex zinfandels.

Categories: History, Monte Bello, Paul Draper, Press Reviews, RIDGE Questionnaire, RIDGE Staff, Wine Quotes, Wine Tales, Winemaking

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