POSTED ON November 17, 2012 | IN Russian River Wine Country - Sonoma Cty., Wine Information | BY Joe Becerra

Review of Paradise Ridge Winery

Great views, an amazing outdoor sculpture exhibit, and delicious wines is what the wine country visitor will find at Paradise Ridge Winery in the hills of Santa Rosa. We visited Paradise Ridge last Tuesday evening for a special winery dinner event. It is a fun spot and a destination where you can spend several hours; there is that much to do and see. A wonderful excursion!

The winery is located in a residential area in the northeastern hills of Santa Rosa. One would never know a winery is hidden in this modern housing tract. It is far off the beaten path of wineries and is the only winery in this area of Santa Rosa. There are few signs to guide you to the winery, so be sure to have your map in hand, pinpointing the winery on your GPS system to guide you.

Spirit of the man sculpture exhibit at Paradise Ridge

Spirit of the Man

The first thing that catches the eye is an amazing metal sculpture as you drive up the entrance to the winery. It is part of the exhibit “The Spirit of the Man.” Our next article on the Wine Travelers will give you complete details of this not-to-be-missed art exhibit. Once you park your car and head to the tasting room, you will be completely mesmerized by the view from the deck of the tasting room. You’ll have a great look at the vineyards below, the Russian River Valley, and the city of Santa Rosa. On Wednesday evenings during the warm weather months, the winery hosts an event called “Wines and Sunsets in Paradise.” Visitors pack their picnic dinners, savor Paradise Ridge wines, and enjoy the fantastic sunsets. We were lucky enough on our visit to witness one of the more spectacular sunsets at Paradise Ridge.

View from the picnic deck at Paradise Ridge

Our favorite wines were the Chardonnay, the Rhone-blend Posse and a wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon from the Rockpile AVA. Rockpile is an AVA located high above Lake Sonoma at the end of the Dry Creek Valley. These grapes are stressed to the max and produce wines of deep character.

Paradise is also a popular wedding venue. The winery hosts nearly 50 weddings and receptions annually. Another interesting treat is to go to the downstairs tasting room and view the photos and artifacts that tell the story of Kanaye Nagasawa. Kanaye Nagasawa was the first Japanese winemaker in California and built the Fountain Grove Winery at the turn of the century. He built the winery into one of the largest wineries in California at the time. He was the first to export wine from California to England.

Nagasawa exhibit at Paradise Ridge winery.

Paradise Ridge owner Walter Byck on the left talks about the Nagasawa exhibit

For lodging, nearby is the Fountain Grove Inn and the Flamingo Hotel. Or continue your wine travels to the town of Healdsburg about 15 minutes north on Highway 101. The town is a wonderful boutique wine country destination with many choices of fine Healdsburg lodging and dining. Happy travels!

Summer months means Wednesday of wine and sunset at Paradise ridge winery

Wednesday Wine and Sunset at Paradise Ridge