Sonoma County region
Originally, the plan was to fix up and resell the property as an estate country home site, but their ideas began to shift.
Entrepreneurs, Oklahoma natives, and husband and wife team of 20 years, Lynn Hofacket and Casidy Ward will be the first to tell you that they never expected to be vintners. Even when they purchased the remote and wild property that would become the Hidden Ridge Vineyard in 1991, becoming grape farmers was not what first came to mind.
Originally, the plan was to fix up and resell the property as an estate country home site, but with market forces intervening and reduced demand for California real estate, their ideas began to shift. Wine demand was on its way up, and after taking some viticulture classes at nearby universities, the couple decided to plant a small vineyard on the property with the intent of selling the grapes to nearby wineries.
This was in 1995, but the prep work took much longer than expected (years longer), and the vineyard didn’t come into fruition until 2001. A test barrel of wine proved the fruit was of superb quality, and it caught the attention of winemaker Marco DiGiulio who had been introduced to the secluded vineyard a year prior. He was blown away by the vision and interesting planning scheme of the site, and agreed to make Hidden Ridge’s first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon in 2003. The response to this wine was astounding, and helped name Hidden Ridge "One of Twenty Exciting New Cabernet Labels to Watch” by Wine Spectator. Each vintage has also garnered 92+ Points – an impressive feat that places Hidden Ridge in the upper echelons of ultra boutique Sonoma County wineries.