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The History Behind It All

A history of the location and people creates a greater understanding and appreciation of Ridley Vineyards and the grapes it produces.  And let's not forget their favorite critters of the vineyard!

The Anderson Valley

 

Just off the coast of Mendocino County, is the temperate appellation known as the Anderson Valley where some of the best grapes in the world are grown.  The stunning scenery of rolling, oak-studded foothills, vineyards, and redwood forests, provides a plethora of activities and photographic opportunities.  Since the mid-1800's this land was planted with chardonnay, zinfandel, cabernet, gewurztraminer and best of all, the pinot noir grape.  The combination of warm sunny days with foggy nights and mornings allows the grapes to mature slowly to reach their full varietal characteristics.  In the summer, temperatures may reach into the 90's, but the afternoon ocean breezes cool the valley and refresh the fruit with nightly lows in the 50's.  The grape farmers are not just farmers in this valley.  They are guardians of a fruit that vintners turn into a pure expression of the highest quality wine.

Ridley Vineyards History

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Established in 1999, this vineyard is becoming well-known for producing consistent, high-quality pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. This particular region is one of the coolest areas where grapes can be commercially grown.



The vineyard is also an "Insectary" of flower and vegetable gardens, which is a habitat that encourages insect propagation that is beneficial for the natural balance of the ecology of the vineyard. Good bugs eating bad bugs, helping to create an environment conducive to growing robust, healthy vines.



Various bird protection techniques are utilized, but the wide variety of birds also helps control the insects for a wonderful symbiotic environment.



From bud break to harvest, the owners are involved with the entire process of grape growing.

The Owner

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Starting around 1989, the Ridleys often enjoyed passing through the Anderson Valley to do a little wine tasting on their way to the Mendocino Coast.  Although it was a lovely place, it appeared "too off the grid" for them to contemplate living here.  However, where they lived in San Diego County, CA was rapidly getting overcrowded and so they began searching for property in Paso Robles and as far north as the Alexander Valley.  In 2001, as they were passing through the Valley again, they noticed a "For Sale" sign on Hwy 128 and decided to take a look around at the young vineyard and modest home.  Within a few months, they became owners of a fledgling vineyard and the transition from San Diego began.



By 2004, The Ridleys were living full time in the Anderson Valley and continued to do their consulting work while mastering the art of grape growing.  They quickly got involved with community activities and befriended good people through the various organizations and the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association.  In 2021, Peggy Ridley now owns and runs the vineyard full time.

Ridley Vineyards strives for quality and consistency in their produce.  They endeavor to nurture positive business relationships with mutual respect.  Their business partnerships thrive on the appreciation of similar tastes, quality, and common objectives.



Peggy is usually out in the vineyard on a daily basis.  Now that she is "retired", she gets to enjoy the outdoors full-time farming.  She is particularly attentive to her "babies"...the chardonnay vines.

 

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