Last Tuesday I visited Paul Draper from Ridge vineyards. You probably heard of the Judgment of Paris in 1976 which, according to many, put California on the wine map? Paul Draper had one of his wines at this event: the Monte Bello 1971. And that Monte Bello Cabernet was among California’s finest wines of the era.
I was fortunate enough to interview Paul Draper in his Monte Bello vineyard, on the very top of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. We talked quite a bit about California wine history, because I had in front of me one of the pioneers of the current natural wine movement. However, Paul prefers the term “traditional wine”, emphasizing on the fact that the way he makes his wine in the winery today is quite similar to how it was made in the old days, before prohibition. We also ventured into such topics as irrigation, ingredients labeling and overripeness. Interesting bits of info which I keep for the film!
Ridge has been known for producing but also encouraging vineyard-designated wines. To offer a wine made from grapes coming from a very specific location is of paramount importance to Paul Draper. If you blend grapes coming from different locations, according to Paul, you are then exposing the identity of the winemaker, and therefore you miss the taste of the place. Here is an excerpt on this topic:
Thanks Paul for your time and the good discussions!