Visiting Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs

One of my pet peeves about websites is when they contain outdated information. Such was the case of Ridge Vineyards at Lytton Springs. The website says it has no tasting fee. Well, they do. We asked if they waive the fee if you buy wine, no dice. Oh well, we went ahead with the tasting anyway, and thankfully, our attendant ended up not charging us for the fee when she rang us out. Yay!

My impressions of the tasting room: The tasting bar was fairly large and very high off the ground. The interior really lacked any personality, I would say it was sterile and cold. Not really any decoration. I like to see something in a tasting room, especially if it’s not a busy day for the tasting room I like to wander around and look at pictures of the vineyards and such. Their overall wine list made my jaw drop. I had NO idea that their wines went for so much money! Not the ones that were being tasted, the ones for sale!

2004 Geyserville Zinfandel: $33. Blackberries, cherries, spicy, cracked black pepper.

2004 Lytton Springs Zinfandel: $33. Vanilla, blackberry pie (blackberry desserts and vanilla were common wine experiences for me this trip…), blueberries. This wine was very juicy. Matt’s favorite from this stop, we took home 1 bottle.

2004 York Creek Zinfandel: $28. More peppery than the Lytton, and the fruit had a darker quality. Blackberries and jucier than the Lytton. This was my favorite offering at Ridge and we took home 2 bottles.

2003 Lytton East Zinfandel: $30. Younger tasting fruit than the previous offerings, oddly enough given that it was a 2003. Juicy fresh blackberries, vanilla with a pepper note.

2002 Lytton Estate Petite Sirah: $30. Alcohol on the nose of this one, I had trouble getting past it. Cracked pepper, blueberries and blackberries.


4 Responses

  1. A fee for a taste is usually a dead giveaway that the wines will be pricey! I have had an ancient Geyserville and a newer Lytton Springs – excellent winemaking.

  2. I can somewhat understand the need of a tasting fee; after all, the winery has things to pay for.

    I also like the idea of waiving the fee for a bottle purchase. That makes fine sense to me the consumer, but I do not make the prices unfortunately.

    Some local wineries here do not have a fee, and others waive the fee for a bottle purchase. I like those guys in particular, just for their approach to reaching out to the customer. (Who usually drives over 60 miles to reach their winery)

    One thing about you – Sonadora – you tell it like it is. Hopefully that winery will update their site if that is no longer the case.


  3. The Ridge tasting room in my neck of the woods (Cupertino)is similar. A great view outside, but not much inside. I guess they want to showcase the wines (which are all so damn good), but I know what you mean about wanting stuff to look at.

  4. Good wines for sure Joe and Farley!

    Dezel, yes, I don’t mind fees if you aren’t going to buy anything. I understand covering the costs of running a tasting room. But to at least refund the fee if you buy a bottle or two or a case, doesn’t seem like an unreasonable way to do business!

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