2012 Riva Ranch Chardonnay

2012 Riva Ranch Chardonnay

This medium-bodied Chardonnay has a rich, golden color and aromas and flavors of tropical fruit, honey, cinnamon and light floral notes, balanced by subtle oak, butter and vanilla from barrel aging. It has a round mouthfeel and a long, fruity finish.


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Arroyo Seco is widely regarded as one of the best places in California to grow Chardonnay. Riva Ranch is the name of the Wente family’s vineyard in Arroyo Seco, where we have been growing Chardonnay since the 1960’s. Wente Vineyards was the first California winery to produce a wine labeled as Chardonnay in 1936. Today, many of the great Chardonnay vineyards in California are planted with the Wente Clone. Riva Ranch is presently planted to three Dijon clones and two Wente clones: clone 2A which had been originally selected for its intense varietal character and low yield, and clone 4, a second generation Wente clone. The cool growing season and the deep gravelly soil ripen the Chardonnay perfectly, creating a natural balance of sugar and acidity.


This wine was barrel fermented in French, American, Eastern European, and neutral oak. A small portion of the wine was fermented and in stainless steel and blended in to enhance the fruit character.


This wine was aged for 8 months in French, American, Eastern European, and neutral oak.


  • 93 points/ 5 Stars, Beverage Dynamics, March 2014
  • 91 points, Toronto Star, Canada, November 2014
  • Gold, California State Fair Wine Competition, June 2014
  • Silver, Sunset International Wine Competition, June 2014
  • Silver, Alameda County Wine Competition, May 2014
2012 Riva Ranch Chardonnay