Paradise Ridge Winery – Kenwood Review
Address: 8860 Sonoma Hwy Kenwood,California 95452.
Phone Number: 707-282-9020
Tasting Hours: 10:00-6:00
Region: Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley AVA, California
Reviewer: Sherrie Perkovich
Review Date: 5/25/2014
Reviewer: Sherrie Perkovich
Paradise Ridge, located in the hills of Santa Rosa, is owned by the Byck Family. Walter Byck bought the winery property in 1978 and began planting the vineyards. The winery became a reality in 1991. In addition to wine tasting with a stunning view of Santa Rosa and Russian River Valley, Paradise Ridge also boasts an eclectic art sculpture garden. The winery also has a quaint tasting room in downtown Kenwood.
The Winery:  The Kenwood tasting room offers an excellent way for Sonoma Valley visitors to experience a bit of Paradise without traveling the 15-20 minutes to the main winery in the hills of Santa Rosa. You wont find any barrels or steel tanks at the Kenwood tasting room, but rather a cozy tasting room with a tasting bar, tasting stations on barrels set up around the rest of the room, and an outdoor picnic space. Art and wine are definitely a theme at Paradise Ridge, no matter which location you are visiting. The main winery features all the large sculpture pieces, but the Kenwood location has its fair share of unique and thought-provoking art. A few of their sculptures can be immediately spotted as you turn in the gravel driveway to the tasting room.
The Tasting:  The tasting experience you have will depend on how much time you allow yourself. If you are a bit rushed for time, you certainly can walk into the petite tasting room and experience a casual, standing tasting at the indoor wine tasting bar. Although the Kenwood tasting room does not have the rolling hills and gorgeous views of the main winery, you will hardly miss them due to the talented and entertaining crew at the Kenwood location. If you have a bit more time, bring a picnic, grab a bottle of Delight, and sit outside among the winery’s mini sculpture garden pieces. The standard wine tasting fee is $10 per person, and you should allow at least 30 minutes for the standard tasting. Any groups of 10 or more must be booked in advance and higher tasting fees apply.
The Wines:  Dan Barwick is the masterful winemaker behind the wines at Paradise Ridge. Barwick is a true craftsman when it comes to the wines. They are elegant and well-balanced with lovely texture. He is also a great blender, so be sure to taste a few of his blends before you leave Paradise. If you are fortunate, Annette will be pouring wines behind the bar during your visit. Annette is the very lovely and very bubbly tasting room manager at Paradise Ridges Kenwood tasting room. Talk to Annette about the wines you typically enjoy, and she, or any of her very knowledgeable staff, can guide you through the tasting experience. Unique to only a handful of wineries in the area, Paradise Ridge crafts a few sparkling wines. Currently they are featuring their 2011 Blanc de Blanc Sparkling wine. This is an excellent wine to start and/or finish with. Paradise Ridge is more known for their red wines than their whites, but dont overlook these beauties, especially on a warm day in wine country. Leading the way in the reds are their Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Any Cab lover will be asking for a second taste of these subtle and smooth wines.
Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine – $39
Delight, Russian River Valley (aromatic white blend) $24
Brides Blush Rose, Russian River Valley – $20
Estate Pinot Noir, Pommard – $56
The Posse, Estate Rhone Style (proprietary red blend) – $54
Elevation Cabernet Sauvignon, Rockpile Vineyard – $45
Cabernet Franc, Rockpile Vineyard – $80
* BONUS: It isnt available often, but when it is, dont miss their Sparkling Shiraz. This unique sparkling wine will have you bubbling out of your shoes and ready to dance.
Insider Information:  The Kenwood location also offers an Herb Garden & Wine Sensory Experience where guests can indulge in a self-guided tasting, featuring Paradise wines paired with herbs from Swedes Feeds Nursery. Marvel at how smelling lemon cucumbers completely changes the taste of their Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, or how Genovese Basil really brings out the herbs and savory notes in the Cabernet. Allow up to 60 minutes for this experience. Annette is the brainchild behind the experience, and to really get the most out of it, ask Annette the best herbs to pair with the Paradise wines.