2018 Paradise Ridge "Kanaye The Grape King" Zinfandel

2018 Paradise Ridge

¥5,390 (incl. tax)

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“Kanaye The Grape King” 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. That there even is a 2018 vintage of this lovely wine shows that the Kanaye’s samurai spirit lives on in the Byck and Barwick families who own Paradise Ridge. For in October, 2017, they lost their award-winning tasting room, winery facility, several homes and 100,000 bottles of wine in the historic Tubbs Fire. While the vineyards survived, sadly, an exhibit of rare documents and artifacts documenting Kanaye’s life and history did not. For now, the wines are being made in other facilities, and in December, 2019, the winery opened its rebuilt hospitality center. This 2018 Zinfandel was sourced from an old, dry-farmed vineyard in the Dry Creek Valley. Cooler temperatures in late summer helped produce a Zin that is bright and elegant with silky tannins and a notable ABV of 13.9%. In the glass, the wine teases with a gorgeous purple/ruby color and offers delicious flavors of fresh blackcurrant and blackberry jam. Should be excellent with roast pork, chicken or turkey. Delicious now but should be even better in a year or three.


Winery Description

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.

About this Wine

Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Sonoma County
Winery Paradise Ridge
Vintage 2018
Color Red
Varietal(s) Zinfandel
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.0 x 31.0
Case Size 34.0 x 26.0 x 32.0
Alcohol 13.9%
Product Code PA18KZN

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

Medium purple/ruby color. Fresh blackcurrant and blackberry aromas mingle with high-toned notes of orange peel and ginger spice. The wine enters brightly and expands on the mid-palate, with rich dark berries, red plums and a tantalizing herbaceousness framed by silky tannins and fresh acidity. The sweetness of the fruit lingers in the finish. 



Hand-harvested grapes were destemmed first and then fermented in stainless steel before aging 12 months in neutral French and American oak barrels. 

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