Paradise Press 2008
Paradise - The heart of Paradise is the people. These terrific people include my family, our staff and our many friends and visitors. This year saw our Paradise family grow and we have enjoyed the new energy & excitement brought to our already fantastic team. As you know if you have visited ‘paradise’, our winery family is the best, and I thank each one for making Paradise such a special place.
In Byck Family news, I am thrilled to announce the birth of two new grandchildren, Carina, Carole and John’s new daughter and Adianka, Rene and Holly’s first.
The remodel of our winery was completed in the spring of this year. We added drama and beauty with sandblasted fir, large windows and doors to highlight our spectacular vistas. The tasting bar is indoor/outdoor making tasting a lot more fun & open. The addition of Italian chandeliers made the transformation complete. We continued to extend the landscaping and now a beautiful path winds up from the lowest parking areas. Our entry plaza has been transformed with sand colored gravel, giving the entrance an old world romantic feel.
We recently opened a beautiful new tasting room on highway 12 in Kenwood. With some help from my closest artist friends, this lovely site now displays fine contemporary sculpture along with our delicious wines and other local art. We hope to see you all in Paradise soon. - Walter Byck, Founder
From the marketplace - I hope that 2008 was a great year for you. For me it is a year I will never forget. It started at the stroke of midnight when I exchanged wedding vows with my beautiful bride Holly Michalek-Byck. On May 9th Holly and I were blessed to welcome Adianka Marijke Byck into the world. I cannot explain the joy she has brought to us and so many other people. I hope that you have the chance to meet her sometime soon.
Kenwood 2008 has also been a year of change at the winery. My big project finally came to fruition with the opening of the Kenwood Tasting Room and Art Gallery on August 9th. We were lucky to hire Randall Dunn, a long time family friend, who has over 15 years of wine industry experience to be the face of Paradise in Kenwood. Randall is passionate about wine and loves to share his knowledge with all who visit. We hope you stop in to enjoy this beautiful space where you can taste our wines while enjoying wonderful local art. I believe it is truly a piece of Paradise in Sonoma Valley.
We received many awards for our wines this year. With such great recognition it is easy to see why we are so happy with the direction Dan is taking our wines. I wanted to pass along a comment recently made by one of our distributors, he said “one characteristic of a great winery is to constantly be making better & better wines” I completely agree - Cheers Dan!
As our reputation grows the number of friends of Paradise continues to grow too. These friends (you) are what enables us to follow the dream of Paradise. Rene C. Byck, Owner/Vice President
Wine Club Chatter - I was asked to keep this short which is difficult to do when there is so much great news to be shared. Let’s start with the most wonderful, amazing and fantastic news – Amanda McLain. Amanda is our new Wine Club Coordinator and Culinary Specialist. In the short time she has been with us, she has taken the club to exciting new levels. More than just a friendly, happy face, Amanda has joined us after 13 years working with fine food. She also had the incredible experience of running a 15 acre farm in upstate New York. Now that she has returned to her roots in Northern California, all the hospitality and culinary skills she gathered are focused on our wine club – lucky us. For those who attended her Wine & Cheese Seminar in August – you experienced first hand the magnificent addition Amanda is to Paradise Ridge.
For our members who joined our wine club celebration in July, we added some new enjoyment to the day. Wine educator Jil E. Child put together a fantastic sensory experience, which showcased the many aromas wine can display. It was great fun to watch our friends learn about wine with such enthusiasm. As everyone was enjoying the beautiful afternoon, we were given an extra treat from our good friend and Sonoma County Chef extraordinaire, Bruce Riezenman from Park Avenue Catering. With a few delicious components, Bruce gave us a spectacular demonstration on how the flavors of wine are enhanced by various ingredients. It was an unforgettable experience.
The Holiday wine club shipment is the most exciting we have offered to date. It includes the option of all three of our Harvest Fair gold medal winners – including the beloved Rockpile Cabernet Sauvignon. If you are not yet a member there is no better time to join in the fun.
From the Cellar - It’s been another eventful and unique year – to say the very least. The role of Mother Nature and the unusual weather patterns during the growing season here in Sonoma County have made for some very peculiar vineyard scenarios. Now that it’s all over and done with, all I can really add is that we have been given a rare opportunity to make some amazing wines.
You’ve probably heard of and forgotten all about what happened this growing season, so here’s a quick breakdown. It all started with a drought – NO rain since February. We had a massive spring freeze, which was followed a few days later by a record breaking heat spell – 95˚ plus in May, followed by more freezes, and all of this during the sensitive time of bud break, not such a great welcome to vines that are just starting to come to life. We then had days of 40 mile an hour winds, with more record heat spells during flowering - another really sensitive time for a vine. Just when we thought nothing else could happen, the skies became overcast for weeks on end, with the smoke from hundreds of wild fires burning out of control throughout our neighboring counties. Well, just as we were waiting for swarms of locusts to descend upon us and finish everything off, the vines pulled ahead and started to produce something very special indeed.
I have been lucky enough to have had crew of dedicated people working full time for the first time in 2008, and this has allowed me to spend hundreds of hours in our vineyards and observe what was really happening due to all of the above. Being able to respond to each and every individual vineyard, and take care of their needs has enabled us to bring in some of the best fruit we have ever seen.
So now I can confidently report to you that we have some the most exciting wines in the house from the 2008 vintage. Jam packed full of character - The whites are going to be stunning, full of an amazing array of new (to us) flavors, keen acidity, naturally low alcohol levels and incredible depth of fruit. The reds also have an incredible amount of depth and powerful fruit, gorgeous silky, dusty tannins, great acidity, moderate alcohol levels, it’s difficult to describe, but they really just are powerhouses, just packed with beautiful, elegant, and also restrained fruit. I just know these are going to be fabulous with food and should age extremely well. This is exactly what I’m always looking for in my in my wines and here it all is from one of the most difficult vintages in history.
Its really been a long hard slog to get here, and I want to give my heart felt thanks to a great crew, and in particular to – Maitry Desai, our associate winemaker and enologist, whose incredible knowledge, unbending urge and passion to experiment at every level has opened us up to some new levels of complexity and refinement. Mauricio Soto, our cellar master and operations manager, whose organization, drive for perfection and attention to every detail has given us the ability to take our wines to better places. and of course to – Ulises Valdez, our friend and vineyard manager, whose tireless devotion to improving our vineyards and fruit quality never waivers. Thank you very much. Dan Barwick, Winemaker
Paradise Revisited - Although our stunning views are the same, the rest of ‘Paradise’ has been transformed from nice to spectacular. With a new and improved winery and grounds, our weddings & events have also gone from special to unbelievable. This year we enjoyed hosting incredible events highlighted with vibrant colors & exciting themes. Photographs of these events can be found online on this website.
If you have a special event planned in the coming year remember ‘Paradise’ is the perfect party place. Speaking of parties, we still have a few openings on the calendar for holiday celebrations, so if you are looking to host your friends, family or business in an incredible, festive setting, be sure to reach out to me at
or (707) 528-9463.