We are proud to have featured Kelly Peterson, owner of the superb, tiny production Napa Valley winery Switchback Ridge, during our Flight Night series in our wine bar. Kelly is a one-of-a-kind proprietor; she’s kind, generous, and unassuming—in other words, she’s just the sort of producer we love to support at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant and our sister stores.
Even though there is a three-year wait to get on Switchback’s mailing list, Kelly produces limited runs of large format bottles that she doesn’t sell—she donates them to charities. Needless to say, we are thrilled to offer one of her sought after wines as part of our Red Cellar Trio club. Made by acclaimed winemaker Robert Foley (Pride, Hourglass, Robert Foley Vineyards), Switchback Ridge, named for the winding trails in the hills above the vineyard, has become one of the darlings of the Napa Valley wine scene.
Switchback Ridge currently farms 21 acres just off Silverado Trail between St. Helena and Calistoga in Napa Valley. The property was originally purchased in 1914 by Eliza and Mads Peterson, and the first vines on the site were Zinfandel. With Prohibition plums became the primary crop, and by the 1990s the property, still in the hands of the original family's descendants, was replanted to vines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah. This Merlot is more substantial in structure and depth of flavor than many, and while very satisfying now, will reward cellaring another 7–10 years.
2018 marked Switchback Ridge’s 20th anniversary vintage, and has been referred to as “epic” by Napa Valley vintners, making for wines that are rich and dense with incredible color and texture. Beautifully balanced and complex, this bottling is made up of 91% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Peterson Family Vineyard that was aged 16 months in 100% French Oak.
Deep, black red. Pungent aromas of stewed blueberries, blackberries and vanilla. Classic Napa red, dominates the palate with flavors of fleshly baked blueberry pie, cassis, blackberries galore and a hint of bitter chocolate. The tannins are refined and nicely balanced with ample acidity, and a long, flavorful finish.