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Winemaker Dan Barwick creates handcrafted, food-friendly Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. Additionally he crafts small lots of vineyard-designated wines, sparkling wines, and proprietary blends from the estate Russian River Valley vineyards and vines in the Rockpile viticultural area. After 21 harvests, Dan works to create wines that delight the palate and illustrate the diversity of the vineyards and vintage.

The fertile, rocky well-drained soil and sunny hillside exposure of the estate Vineyards help create the distinctive wines that carry the Paradise Ridge label. The vineyards adjoin the lands of the historic Fountaingrove Winery, which at the turn of the last century won international acclaim for its wines.

petit verdot

Paradise Ridge Winemaking Process

Cluster Select
All of the vineyards we work with practice green harvesting. This involves several ‘Passes’ (the removal of grapes not suitable for making wine). This is done on three separate occasions. First, when the fruit sets, secondly, when veraison (When berries turn from green to (red/black) or (yellow/green) has nearly completed and a third and/or fourth time just prior to the harvest date. The grapes are then hand-harvested and pass through a sorting table before we gently de-stem the clusters, leaving as many whole berries as possible for the “cold soak”.

Cold Soak
Once de-stemmed, the grapes are cold soaked in small half-ton bins for several days at 40 degrees F. Special Enzymes are added at this stage, which allows us to achieve greater extraction while continuing to handle the fruit in the gentlest fashion.

The ‘must’ (as it’s now called) is then transferred to ‘open top’ tanks, where fermentation takes place by adding specially selected yeasts. Once the fermentation is active the skins are submerged with a “heading down cage’ creating a cap. This process keeps the skins in continuous contact with the juice allowing for a full, but gentle extraction. Our tanks are equipped with special cooling jackets, which allows us to control the juice, in and below the cap, at different temperatures. The advantage of this is that with the warmer temp in the cap (90 degrees F) we can achieve better extraction, while the cooler temp (75 degrees F) for the juice below, helps us maintain the more delicate and fruity esters, which are now present.

Once fermentation is complete the juice is drained off and then the “must” is pressed off to tanks where they are inoculated with a malolactic bacteria. Once sufficiently active they are then transferred to selected barrels, where the final stages of primary and secondary (maloloactic) fermentation occur. At the completion of this process, the wine is racked, sulphured and returned to the oak barrels for aging.


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