The “Four Times Daily” sculpture by Robert Ellison is just one of many outdoor installations at Paradise Ridge in Santa Rosa.

The return of Wines & Sunsets at Paradise Ridge

James Knight

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Summer evenings in Sonoma County wouldn’t seem complete without a little Sonoma County wine. Wednesday summer evenings, in particular, haven’t seemed complete without Wines & Sunsets, the midweek wine, food, and music event at Santa Rosa’s Paradise Ridge Winery. So we’re celebrating the long-awaited return of Wines & Sunsets on June 19, 2019.

Named “Best Winery Event” in Sonoma County in 2017, Wines & Sunsets is a casual event with a glorious view, perched high above the Santa Rosa Plain. Until 2017, the event was held on the deck of Paradise Ridge Winery, which was lost in the Tubbs fire in October of that year.

LOVE sculpture at Paradise Ridge in Santa Rosa.

Today, signs of renewal are everywhere on the hillside. Most of the oak trees are flourishing, while the heritage oak that graced the winery’s deck is being replaced with one that winery co-owner Sonia Byck-Barwick helped to source in Lake County. The winery is taking shape once again, and will host Wines & Sunsets on its new deck, to be constructed of stone, says Byck-Barwick.

Meanwhile, the summer series of 2019 presents a unique opportunity to enjoy Wines & Sunsets in the art garden just down the hill, with an even more expansive view of the valley and hills that stretch to the Pacific Coast.

Image of view at Paradise Ridge in Santa Rosa.

In late May, craftsmen were putting the finishing touches on the dance floor in front of the stage, which is bookended by the towering “Minaret” sculpture, by artist Bryan Tedrik, and which was featured at Burning Man, and on the other side, the playful, if colossal “Four Times Daily,” by the late artist Robert Ellison, makes its latest appearance.

Below, a shepherd walks with his fluffy, but hardworking sheep guardian dogs toward a flock of some 100 bleating sheep, which have helped Paradise Ridge to keep their hillside grasses well grazed.

Wines & Sunsets offers tables and chairs for 200 on the terraced hillside, so the event is limited and can sell out. Tickets for wine club members are $5 advance and $10 at the door; for general admission, $10 advance and $15 door. Tickets buy music and sunsets only! Food truck vendors sell various takes on wine country cuisine. For this summer’s first event, Girl & the Fig’s Fig Rig food truck swings by, followed by Zazu Black Piglet, the food truck of the popular (but sadly now shuttered) Zazu restaurant in Sebastopol.

Tree Sculpture at Paradise Ridge in Santa Rosa.

Wines & Sunsets runs through September 18. Here’s the full lineup through July: Music by Blues Burners, food by The Fig Rig, June 19; Carlos Herrera, Zazu’s Black Piglet, June 26; Rosetown Ramblers, Dry Creek Catering, July 3; Jami Jamison Band, Zazu Black Piglet, July 10; Honey B & the Pollinators, Tips Tri Tip Trolley, July 17; Solid Air, Street Side Asian Grill, July 24; and Blues Burners, Falafel Fix, July 31.

And let’s not forget about the wine, which is one half of wines and sunsets, after all! “What was lost in the fire we have replenished,” says Byck-Barwick. Five to six wines will be available for purchase by the glass or bottle, including refreshing 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and sunset-ready 2018 Bride’s Blush rosé.

Reserve tickets through the Paradise Ridge website.

Details: 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive, Santa Rosa. 707-528-9463