2015 Paradise Ridge "Kanaye The Grape King" Zinfandel


From a stunning location on a hill northeast of Santa Rosa, the family-owned and operated Paradise Ridge Winery produces a range of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The winery owns estate vineyards in the Russian River Valley AVA but also sources fruit from vineyards in other areas such as Rockpile and Monte Rosso.  Walter Byck, a radiologist, and his wife, Marijke Byck-Hoenselaars, moved to Santa Rosa in 1965. In 1977, he discovered 156 acres of “paradise” in a property that some say has the most beautiful view in Sonoma County. The vineyards were planted at the start, and the winery followed in 1994. Several of Walter’s children have positions with the winery; even the winemaker, Dan Barwick, is Walter’s son-in-law. In addition to producing fine wine, Paradise Ridge offers a sculpture garden, curates frequent art exhibitions, and hosts weddings.   At Paradise Ridge there is also an exhibit honoring a little-known intersection between Sonoma wine country history and Japan. Paradise Ridge adjoins the grounds of the old Fountain Grove Winery, which in the early 20th century was operated by Kanaye Nagasawa, who became so successful he was known as the “Wine King” of California. More remarkable is that Nagasawa had secretly left Japan to study abroad prior to the Meiji Restoration, a time when Japanese were prohibited from any contact with the outside world – let alone allowed to travel. How he went to England and later New York and eventually to Sonoma County is one of those great American immigrant stories. Sadly, his heirs lost all their land and business in the discriminatory acts against Japanese-Americans during World War II. Paradise Ridge honors this important but forgotten figure of the early wine industry through the exhibit as well as by naming one of its vineyards after him.


This bottling honors Kanaye Nagasawa, a 19th century pioneering spirit from Japan who was born a samurai but ended his long life as the “Wine King of California,” one of the largest land owners in Sonoma County. Sourced from cool Sonoma County vineyards and aged in older barrels, this Zin is bright and elegant rather than overpowering and ripe. In the glass, the wine teases with a gorgeous ruby garnet color and offers delicious flavors of briar fruit and vanilla spice. 


Hand-harvested grapes were subjected first to a cold soak before fermentation in stainless steel and aging in neutral barrels. 

Tasting notes

A medium-bodied wine, it opens with aromas wild berries and spicy notes before delivering pleasant flavors of blackberry, blueberry and vanilla. Silky tannins on the finish. 


Sonoma County