There are few Californian wines that could hold a torch to the great producers of Bordeaux, Ridge Monte Bello is one wine that not only equals the best Bordeaux châteaux, but surpasses them.

The Monte Bello vineyard is located in the northern reaches of the Santa Cruz Mountains at an elevation of between 1,300ft and 2,660ft with south/south-easterly exposure, on decomposing Franciscan rock with clay on a substrata of fissured limestone (common in France, rare in California.) There are 66.4 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon between 10- and 52-years old, 12.8-acres of Merlot between 6- and 33-years old, 2.2 acres of Petit Verdot between 10- and 13-years old and just 1.3-acres of 31-year old Cabernet Franc. Vines are head-trained and cane-pruned on trellis with no irrigation save for the fledgling vines.