Updated: Jan 17
Which winery was number 100 in my 100 Sonoma County Wineries in 100 Days Challenge? A choice close to all of our hearts.
Paradise Ridge Winery!
The root of my 100 Wineries in 100 Days Challenge stemmed from the October 2017 fires. News and false rumors spread that Sonoma County was devastated and in shambles. My friends lost jobs. Tourism plummeted. What could I do?
This challenge was born out of a need. Showcase Sonoma County as it is and always will be. Sonoma County is our beloved, lush, welcoming, breathtaking, delectable, vibrant wine destination and home to many of us. Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa was voted USA Today’s @usatoday Best Tasting Room In 2016.
On October 9th 2017, early in the morning, the Tubbs Fire gutted the Paradise Ridge, Santa Rosa tasting room. A collective cry broke out from all of us. In disbelief.
Our Paradise treasure was gone. A massive loss. I remember hearing a miracle. A relic from Paradise Ridge was still standing.
The 12 foot tall ‘LOVE’ sculpture. In an instant this LOVE sculpture became our pillar of hope. Today I ventured to Paradise Ridge’s sister tasting room in Kenwood.
Yes, Paradise Ridge has the Santa Rosa location and also a Kenwood tasting room location. Please Note:
For this post, almost all the pictures are from my experience at the Kenwood Paradise Ridge Tasting Room. The sculpture pictures are from the Santa Rosa Paradise location.
It felt very cathartic to chat with the tasting room staff and…
Laugh. Reminisce. Wine sip.
It was a day sharing in the LOVE that is Paradise Ridge.
After the fire:
The vines are OK. Better than ok.
Estate vines are healthy and producing.
Their Kenwood tasting room has a renowned chocolate pairing that will tantalize your senses. Their sculpture garden in Santa Rosa is open to the public on weekends.
Their Santa Rosa event/tasting room is projected to open in 2019! Let this be a reminder. Yes. Nature destroys. Yes. It is traumatizing and scary to see how the news paints the story. The bottom line.
As humans we rise. We are phoenixes. We conquer and overcome. Let us raise our glasses in a cheers. Cheers to spreading the word and debunking rumors. Sonoma County is… thriving and making incredible wines. If you are lucky enough to… live here or visit here You know the treasure that is and continues to be Sonoma County.
More Key Info About Paradise Ridge Winery:
Paradise Ridge opened in 1994 on the Paradise Ridge Estate site in Santa Rosa.
Walter Byck and Marijke Hoenselaars are founders of Paradise Ridge.
The two married in Holland in 1961.
Walter proposed to Marijke after a walk through a sculpture grove at the Kroller-Muller Museum.
I have a feeling this is why sculpture plays such an integral part in the landscape of both winery tasting rooms.
The couple moved to Sonoma County in 1965 and decided to stay and raise their family
In 1978 Walter found a piece of property and declared to Marijke, “I’ve found Paradise.”
A 155 acre purchase overlooking the Russian River Valley.
Over time they decided to plant Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes.
The wine and the winery developed a loyal following and many accolades.
A premiere winery, voted one of the 5 most romantic wineries in Sonoma and Napa.
October 2019, Paradise Ridge Estate Tasting Room is scheduled to reopen.
The next generation of Byck’s will welcome you, Rene Byck and Sonja Byck-Barwick
Gatherings of happy people will happen, the weddings, the music, the picnics, the view.
Dan Barwick is the winemaker and has been with the winery since 1998.
In fact, he is married to the daughter of Walter and Marijke, Sonia.
Dan has a vast history of winemaking experience at such wineries as:
Matanzas and Ferrari Carano
He actually met Sonia Byck while both were completing wine and viticulture courses.
Paradise Ridge Wines Include:
Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Merlot, Chardonnay, Petite Sirah, Blanc de Blanc
Sparkling Pinot Gris, Sparkling Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon
The Paradise Ridge Kenwood Tasting Room is located:
On the outskirts of Kenwood on Highway 12.
How opportune to have another tasting room as a fall back after the fire devastation!
It became the central hub for tasting Paradise Ridge wine after the October 2017 fire.
The Sensory Garden experience $30 pp is a MUST!
Annette McDonnell, who is truly multi-talented, created the Sensory Garden.
She explains, in a lively manner, how your sense of smell influences your taste buds.
Ultimately, you’ll learn to trust your palate and better understand wine and food pairings.
Best wine educational experience I’ve ever had during a tasting!
Open Daily 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tasting Fee $20 for a flight of 4 and $25 for flight of 6
Wines from the Rockpile AVA and Russian River Valley Estate. PARADISE RIDGE WINERY