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Berkmann Wine Cellars taking over UK distribution of Ridge Vineyards wines

Berkmann Wine Cellars is adding California producer Ridge Vineyards to its agency portfolio, taking over UK distribution from Fields, Morris & Verdin (FMV) from 1 January, 2021.

Founded by four scientists from the Stanford Research Institute, Ridge made its first wine in 1962 when Californian winemaking was in its infancy. This debut cabernet sauvignon - from the now world-famous Monte Bello vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains - was followed in 1964 by Ridge's first zinfandel. These two varieties, grown in the mountains and in Sonoma County, remain the cornerstone of the winery's range. Winemaker and Stanford graduate Paul Draper joined in 1969, and during his 47- year tenure established Ridge as a world-leading winemaker.

Alex Hunt MW, purchasing director at Berkmann, said: "With the fine wines of California being a key focus for Berkmann, my colleagues and I could not be more honoured and delighted to embark on this partnership with Ridge Vineyards - a producer that for many of us has underpinned our belief in California wine quality since the very start of our careers.

"Resolute in the face of changing fashions, paradoxically progressive in its traditionalism, both icon and iconoclast, and always a stauch supporter of export markets, it is no accident that Ridge has become one of the few truly timeless classics in wine. We applaud the work done by FMV over the last 24 years and cannot wait to bring these magnificent wines to a wider audience in the UK."

David Amadia, president of Ridge Vineyards, said: "Berkmann, a family-owned and operated importer with a focus on high-quality, balanced, terroir-driven wines, is a seamless fit for Ridge. We are impressed by the team's excellence at Berkmann, all of whom embody knowledge, passion and integrity."

He added: "The UK is the largest of our 40 international markets and we are confident Berkmann will work to improve the quality and depth of our distribution and reputation."

Ridge is the second US winery to join the Berkmann Wine Cellars portfolio this month, following Domaine Drouhin Oregon which joins from December.

19 November 2020 - Bethany Whymark