The Grand Finale: The “Ten Questions For Paul Draper” Double-Shot Conclusion!

With today’s post, we conclude our very special  ten-question series with Paul Draper, and we’re going out with a bang; the final two questions in one post!

Thanks so much to all who’ve been following along, and especially to those of you who’ve sent in your own questions.

And with that, questions nine and ten!

9-    You have made great wines for more than 40 years. What has changed in your approach since you’ve started?

Very little has changed in the basic approach of natural yeast fermentations, natural malolactic secondary,gentle handling, minimum effective SO2 and no other additives or processing.  However, over the years we have learned how best to plant and manage the vineyards to give excellent fruit more consistently year to year.  In the winery virtually every year we have learned something that has increased quality incrementally, for example,  holding out five press fractions, instead of only two, installing a sophisticated sorting table, etc., etc.

10- Have you ever planned to make wine somewhere else in the world? Why?

In the mid-sixties, before joining Ridge, I re-opened an old winery in the coast range of Chile just north of Conception and made Cabernet Sauvignon from three old vine vineyards for several years.  I have certainly been tempted to consider making wine in other regions over the years, but what I do here, hands on, has required a major commitment and has become my life’s work.

***Do you have a question for Paul? Let us know!***

(“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, Paul Draper


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