With conventional photolithography and wet chemical etching, we have realized GaAs/AlGaAs buried ridge-quantum-well-wires (RQWWs) with vertically stacked wires in lateral arrays promising for device application, which were grown in situ by a single-step molecular beam epitaxy growth and formed at the ridge tops of mesas on nonplanar substrates. Confocal photoluminescence (CPL) and polarization-dependent photoreflectance (PR) are applied to study optical characteristics of RQWWs. Lateral bandgap modulation due to lateral variation of QW layer thickness is demonstrated not only by CPL but also by PR. As one evidence for RQWWs, a large blue shift is observed at the energy level positions for electronic transitions corresponding to quantum wells (QWs) at the ridge tops of mesas compared with those corresponding to QWs on nonpatterned areas of the same sample. The blue shift is in contradiction with the fact that the GaAs QW layers at the tops of the mesas are thicker than those on nonpatterned areas. The other evidence for RQWWs, optical anisotropy is provided by the polarization-dependent PR, which results from lateral quantum size effect existing at the tops of the mesas.