ORIGIN: We are proud to continue harvesting fruit from one of the few chardonnay vineyards remaining in the Stags Leap District. Our chardonnay is grown on the cooler east and north facing hillsides from a planting of clones from the research station in Dijon, France, as well as the Corton Charlemagne Burgundian clone. The Corton clone dates from 1964, one of the oldest plantings of chardonnay in the Napa Valley.
VINEYARD: San Pablo Bay marine influences combined with the unusual geography of Stags Leap District provide moderate temperatures, foggy mornings, and warm late afternoons throughout the growing season. This unique climate results in slow, even fruit development on the east and north facing sites of our vineyard and enhances the cool growing conditions found in the Stags Leap District. Three different soil types, Perkins gravelly loam, Boomer gravelly loam, and Kid loam, typify the shallow topsoil that overlays the igneous and rhyolitic shale of the upland slopes of this vineyard.
WINEMAKING: Pine Ridge estate-bottled Chardonnays are 100% barrel-fermented, 100% malolactic, and aged in contact with their yeast lees. After hand sorting, the grapes were whole cluster pressed. The juice was racked to new, heavily-toasted French oak barrels for native yeast and malolactic fermentation. Aged on the yeast lees for nine months to add creamy, yeasty flavors and texture, the wine was bottled in July 2000.
TASTING NOTES: Silky layers of tropical fruits surface with a hint of creamy oak throughout the long, smooth finish in this medium-full bodied, bright yellow Chardonnay. Enjoy now or cellar for five to ten years.
Pine Ridge Winery
In 1978 , a remarkable vineyard took shape alongside a deep pine
forest that climbs the western hillside of Napa Valley’s storied
Stags Leap District. Today, nestled in a small valley along the
Silverado Trail, the carefully maintained and terraced slopes
of Pine Ridge Vineyards blend gracefully with the natural rise
and fall of the land. Year after year, the wines of Pine Ridge
carry a sense of this place and its history. Continuity, balance
and meticulous craftsmanship are inherent in the wines and
deeply embedded in the winery's heritage. Each vintage reflects
the distinct characteristics of the appellation and a focused
commitment to refinement that reaches across the years, from
the founding of the winery to today.
View all Pine Ridge Wines
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just granted an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.