Episode 50 - Ridge Vineyards - David Gates
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50 Episodes! In this milestone episode, I was chatting with Dave Gates, Head of Vineyard Operations and VP at Ridge Vineyards in Northern California. We discussed his interesting route into wine from his home farm in Central Minnesota, through agriculture in Southern California, to eventually Viticulture in UC Davis. Dave is now in his 34th year in Ridge and his encyclopaedic knowledge of vineyards, soils, climates, fruits and the wines they are able to produce is simply awe inspiring. I asked him about his favourite site (‘’like choosing children’’) and what excites him about Zinfandel in particular, as it is the grape most associated with Ridge (65% of production). Of course, we mentioned the legendary Paul Draper, founder of Ridge, now in his mid-80’s, who is still involved in some key events in the winery’s calendar. we also talked about the challenges of water shortages, the old, engrafted zinfandel vines, his experience as a wine blender and as tradition of the podcast dictates, his Desert Island wines of choice. Enjoy!
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