Pine Ridge Vineyards is the definition of a Napa Cab House. Yes, they produce some other wines, like chardonnay and rosé, but cabernet is undeniably their signature grape.
The winemaking team produces single-appellation cabs from the best producing regions (AVAs) around Napa Valley: Stags Leap, Rutherford, Oakville, and Howell Mountain. All of the wines provide a unique opportunity to sip your way through Napa Valley, identify the differences in the varying terroirs, and then determine which AVA you fancy the most. My favorite AVA has consistently been Rutherford, known for its unique “Rutherford Dust” soil, which was reaffirmed during my Pine Ridge Vineyards visit.
The wine and cheese pairing occurs at an intimate round table in the cave, set in front of a gorgeous Chihuly glass sculpture. At my seat, there were three wine glasses and a plate with a trio of cheeses, dried fruits, and house-made, savory biscotti. For this tasting, we tried the Rutherford, Oakville, and Stags Leap cabs, each matched with a cheese.
When I’ve done cheese pairings before, more often than not, it’s with local cheeses. I’m all for supporting the local farmers, but I also really appreciate that Pine Ridge Vineyards prioritizes quality and choosing the perfect match to showcase their wines. They’ve carefully selected dynamite cheeses (two hard, one soft) from France, Spain, and Holland, and they were so delicious that I actually wrote down their names so I could attempt to seek them out later.
The cheese pairing is truly delightful, but if you want the ultimate, VIP experience, book Savor. It takes place in a chic and cozy cave lounge called Cellar 47 — the kind of place you’d hope to hide out in during an apocalypse; think, chic, colorful furniture and rugs, with multiple nooks for lounging and sipping — and we got to sip the full gamut of wines. One-by-one, we tasted through five cabernets: the four single-appellation cabs, plus FORTIS, the winery’s flagship cabernet made with the best grapes from the best blocks (it’s big and bold like its name suggests). Priced at $225 a bottle, it’s a real treat to taste this. Each wine was paired with a substantial, gourmet bite prepared by winery chef Susan Lassalette. The menu stays consistent, only changing up when a new vintage is released.