Interview with Jessica Wilson, Paradise Ridge Winery Hospitality Coordinator
Paradise Ridge Winery is a 155-acre Russian River Valley estate which features varietals that have made the valley famous.
While their heart is Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, they also have estate grown Grenache, Syrah, and Sauvignon Blanc. Paradise Ridge’s focus is always letting the fruit be the expression of the land. Not only do they offer cool climate wines, but also balance their portfolio by looking north and source fruit from the Rockpile AVA.
Their winemaker Dan loved the proximity of the fruit close to ocean, less then 12 miles, their berries are sourced above the fog line which creates a maritime effect that these hearty varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc thrive in.
Paradise Ridge has been owned by the Byck family since 1978. After burning down in the 2017 Tubs fire, the winery rebuilt, and opened in October of 2019, dedicating the property to the community through art and offering their sculpture garden for the public to enjoy daily.
Paradise Ridge’s grounds historically housed the vineyards of the Fountaingrove Winery in Sonoma, which was originally operated and later owned by Kanaye Nagasawa, a late 19th century Japanese winemaker of Samurai lineage. Paradise Ridge learned about the history of Nagasawa and his contributions to Sonoma County’s lavish history and placed a permanent exhibit that is free for the public to enjoy during operational hours.
Their sculpture garden has over two dozen pieces on exhibit currently and is free to the public to enjoy 7 days a week from 10am to 4pm daily.
The winery accommodates same day visits but recommend reservations. We interview Jessica Wilson, Paradise Ridge Winery Hospitality Coordinator to learn more.
What type of wine do you specialize in?
Jessica: Paradise Ridge features: Russian River Valley varietals, Pinot Noir, (Pommard and Dijon 777) Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache, and Syrah
Rockpile AVA varietals from Branham Vineyards featuring: Malbec, Zinfandel, Cabernet, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.
What’s a popular tasting experience?
We offer a vineyard walk that must be booked in advance. We take you into the vineyard and show you the life cycle of the vine, vineyard growing practices, you get a firsthand look at the monumental Nagasawa vineyard. This is a 90-minute experience, guests should be prepared for all weather conditions and wear appropriate shoes!
The cost is 95 per person and consists of 5 pours of our wines. Offered seasonally May through October 11:00am, Sunday through Thursdays. Weather Permitting. This experience must be booked directly with the winery. Minium of 4 guests Maximum 12.
What makes your wine unique?
We offer many styles of wine we have something for everyone.. whether that be our lighter style wines such as our Sauvignon Blanc or Grenache or Rose… or something big and bold like our Malbec.. the diversity in our portfolio allows for us to play with our guests and explore the regions we source our fruit from.
Favorite Food and Wine Pairing?
2021 Grandview Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc love this with Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa, Crab or Lobster boil with Corn and Chorizo, or Asparagus with a Poached egg and Hollandaise Sauce…and fresh raw oysters from Tomales Bay of Course!
What is one thing you wish more people knew about your winery?
Every Wednesday night from the first week of June till the last week of October we host the Sunset Sessions. We offer live music, food trucks and Sunsets views from 5pm to 9pm. Grab a bottle of your favorite Paradise Wine and soak in the views, watch the sun dip behind the coastal mountains of Sonoma.
Tell us more about your Sculpture Gardens.
We have the original LOVE sculpture created by artist Laura Kimpton. The piece became a symbol of hope after the fires and is our inspiration for our silk screened labels on our bottles.
We are known for our Sculpture Gardens that boast more than 24 pieces of circulating art. We have been partners with the Voigt foundation since 2006. The Voigt Family Sculpture Foundation has a special relationship with Paradise Ridge Winery.
The Byck and Voigt families are longtime friends and supporters of the arts. Dr. Walter Byck the founder of Paradise Ridge, graciously offered our estates groves to the foundation to create a sanctuary for all to come and enjoy.