Pine Ridge Vineyards was founded in 1978 by Gary Andrus. It is located on the Silverado Trail, in Napa Valley, with vineyards throughout the area. Pine Ridge now owns a total of 310 acres of vineyards in Stags Leap, Rutherford, Oakville, Carneros and Howell Mountain. It is owned by Leucadia National, a conglomerate with many industrial interests. Today the winemaker and general manager is Michael Beaulac. Pine Ridge makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux-style Cab blends, and Chardonnay.
Carneros AVA, also known as Los Carneros, is at the southern end of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys at the top of the San Francisco Bay. The 8,000 vineyard acres are mostly planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, both of which thrive in the district’s cool, marine climate. Carneros became an AVA in 1983 and it has attracted foreign wine companies along with local producers. It has been especially appealing to European producers of sparkling wines including the giant Spanish cava producers Codorniu and Frexinet, and the French Champagne house Taittinger. Codorniu in Carneros is called Artesa, and Frexinet’s Carneros brand is Gloria Ferrer. Taittinger calls its Carneros winery Domaine Carneros. The European producers also make still wines in Carneros.
This white variety originated in Burgundy, but is now grown around the world. Its flexibility to thrive in many regions translates to wide flavor profile in the market. Chardonnay is commonly used in making Champagne and sparkling wines.