The Origin of
Ritchie Creek Vineyard
Ritchie Creek Vineyard is located at the top of Spring Mountain
in the Napa Valley appellation’s premium Cabernet Sauvignon growing
district. We produce just 800 cases of handcrafted estate wines from our
small mountain vineyard which was planted in 1967.
At 2000 feet above sea level, our vineyard’s thin rocky
soil and cool northern exposure bear low yields of two to three tons of fruit
acre as compared to vineyards in the Napa Valley floor which produce four
tons per acre. Our low yielding vines produce deeply concentrated wines
with intense varietal character which have proven their great aging potential.
Most of the Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted over 30 years ago using
St. George rootstock budded to a shy bearing pre-certification clone
of Cabernet Sauvignon. Soon followed by the planting of Merlot, Chardonnay,
Noir, and a small amount of an Austrian varietal, Blaufrankisch. In
all, Ritchie Creek Vineyard encompasses 8 acres of vineyard.
Pete Minor purchased the 40 acre property in 1966 at a time
when the Napa Valley had less than 30 wineries. He cleared the land and planted
original 4 acre Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vineyard himself in 1967. Pete
his wife, Maggie Minor, established the winery in 1974. Pete built the
small winery out of the hillside and named it after Ritchie Creek which starts
on the property and flows to the Napa Valley floor. As both the vineyard
manager and wine maker, Pete has been able to practice his art without
compromise. This ensures that each vintage consistently expresses the unique
character of the vineyard site.