Emerald from Paradise Ridge Winery called the other day and asked me to come up to the winery to experience their pizza and pinot concept. While she was talking I only heard two words: Rosso and Pinot. She had me at Rosso, the Pinot and I are in love. And Rosso Pizza is legendary in our town.
So Saturday morning I trekked up the hill to Paradise. That’s how you are greeted. “Welcome to Paradise.” Dan Barwick the winemaker was scurrying around putting up umbrellas and setting glasses. Chris from Rosso had the pizza oven fired up and ready to cook a pizza in 90 seconds. Seriously. It was super cool.
The winery has never had permanent food before. They are known for amazing weddings and events catered from outside vendors. But here, perched on the hill overlooking the MOST spectacular view in all of Santa Rosa was a new hot pizza oven waiting to make me happy.
The other members of the party arrived and we sat under the oak. Jon had recently sold his start up company to a San Francisco firm and relocated 3 months ago from Iceland to work there. His friends Leo and Ms. Arnie were visiting from his hometown & rounded out the party of four. ( They eat pizza in Iceland)
Dan sat on the bench and began pouring the wine explaining how much he loved pizza and one day had an idea to call David Rosso and create a pairing.
The process was fascinating and took 6 rounds over the course of a few weeks starting with a simple margherita pizza with fresh mozzarella and basil and the thoughtful laying on of ingredients one by one , each joined by a sip of wine, until the alchemy was perfect.
And trust me, it is perfect. Dan sat on the edge of his bench like a Labrador ready to jump in the river watching us eat and sip. After each “Ahhhhh” he broke into a satisfied grin and said, “ I think I’ll join you on this round.” He enjoyed every bite as much as we did.
The Quattro refers to “four” types of pizza with “four” styles of wine. Each came with a story about the meticulous care of the vines which we sat overlooking, 4 soil types and 15 acres and each wine from a single vineyard. The food came from Sonoma County land just a few miles away and also from a small town in Italy where it was created. ( They do not have pizza like this in Iceland)
- Asaro Lemon Oil made from Castelvetrano olives and blended with Sicilian lemons.
- House made Porchetta, which originates in the town of Marino just outside the Pope’s palace and mastered here in Santa Rosa with locally grown pork and days of cooking by the chef.
- Black Pig Bacon cured for 21 days by a local chef team who personally raise the happiest of pigs.
- Palacios Chorizo, the first Spanish sausage to be imported to the United States.
The sipping and purring went on for about an hour and could have gone on for the day had we not been satiated with the setting, the stories, the repast, and the passion of our host. ( They are returning from Iceland)
You are not being tempted with an exclusive experience only for Mo and the Icelanders. Emerald and the crew will also welcome you to Pizza in Paradise Wednesday- Sundays. www.prwinery.com