California Wine Pairing Championships


Winemaker Allan Green has designed a tantalizing new idea that he’s been perfecting over the last two years. Greenwood Ridge Vineyards wine club members are in for a spectacular food and wine pairing extravaganza for Wine Club Weekend! Please join us on August 13, 2016, for the third annual California Wine Pairing Championships.


Here’s how it works:

1. We choose two wines from our cellar.

2. Three competing chefs present dishes they create to complement the two wines.

3. Attending guests taste each pairing and vote for their favorites.


Here's the schedule:

Saturday, August 13, 12-2 pm, third annual CWPC, join the fun at our tasting room in Philo. You'll want to sign up early, this event is limited to the first fifty club members and their guests. It is complimentary to those attending the club dinner at the Apple Farm that evening, otherwise $30 per person.


Saturday, 5:30 pm, Wine Club dinner at the bucolic Philo Apple Farm. Karen Bates welcomes us to her pastoral garden for a sumptuous culinary adventure that's sure to be the hightlight of the weekend. $100, inclusive of tax, gratuity and complimentary entry to the California Wine Pairing Championships.


Sunday, August 14, 11-4, stop in and enjoy a special selection of  library wines with our tasting room staff.



These are the chefs competing at the 2016 California Wine Pairing Championships:











Paul Smith - Chef at Ramey Wine

Cellars in Healdsburg with ten years

experience at top New York City







Two time defending champion

Paul Schroeder - Executive Chef

at Fountaingrove Golf Club,

Santa Rosa.







Kris Swett - Amateur chef and

high school principal, Ukiah.








Chef Paul Schroeder Crowned 2014 Wine Pairing Champion


Paul Schroeder, Executive Chef at Fountaingrove Golf Club in Santa Rosa, California, held off two tough challengers to win the first annual California Wine Pairing Championships hosted by Greenwood Ridge Vineyards on August 9, 2014.


Fifty members of our wine club and their guests judged the contest. Chefs Kim Badenhop and Philip Thomas cooked up a storm, but Chef Paul wowed the judges with two inspired food/wine pairings.


To pair with our 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Paul created a bay scallop ceviche with white nectarine, avocado, heirloom tomato and taro root chips. It was complex, delicious and greatly enhanced the citric notes of the wine. His duck confit, with exotic mushroom paté, matched the 2012 Pinot Noir perfectly, highlighting its fruit and silky texture.


Paul Schroeder, Executive Chef at Fountaingrove Gold Club in Santa Rosa.

A three-time winner of the Iron Chef of Sonoma competition, this battle-tested warrior has already thrown down the oven mitts, declaring: “Those potato peelers can’t tie my apron strings! This is the hot stove league, baby!”


Kim Badenhop, French-trained chef/owner of the former Rendezvous Restaurant in Fort Bragg. The Rendezvous had the highest Zagat rating for food in Mendocino County for several years running. Kim serves up some trash talk of his own: “These guys think they are such cool cucumbers but I’ll show them who’d the sharpest knife in the drawer when all the carbs are the table!”


Philip Thomas, retired teacher and amateur chef from Boonville. A long time member of the Greenwood Ridge wine club. Not taking a back burner to the professional chefs, Philip proclaims: “They talk like jalapeño firecrackers now, but I’ll have those creampuffs eating out of my hand before they can get their griddles greased!”









Chef Paul Wins Again in 2015


It came down to the last bite, a margin of victory as slim as a slice of Italian black truffle. Dory Kwan came that close to dethroning defending champion Paul Schroeder, but Paul hung on to his crown by a mere two points, 124-122. Amateur chef Mike Sudia from Colorado finished third by a lamb chop at the second annual California Wine Pairing Championships, hosted by Greenwood Ridge Vineyards on August 8.


All three chefs came up with fabulous creations. Here are the tasty morsels they presented to pair with our 2013 Riesling:


Paul - Heirloom Tomato Tart with whipped Curried Goat Cheese and Green Olive Tapenade

Dory - Bay Lime Ginger Panna Cotta with Peaches in Lime Agrodolce

Mike - Arborio Rice Arancini with Parmegiano Reggiano and Bay Scallops


They followed with these exotic presentations with our 2012 Merlot:


Paul - Slow Braised Beef Short Ribs with Parsnip Purée

Dory - Grilled Baby Back Short Ribs with Kalamata Balsamic Sauce, shaved Fennel Slaw and Grilled Figs

Mike - Cubano Pork Sandwich with Merlot reduction, Gruyere and Swiss Cheese Wafers


Are you hungry yet?! Our club members and their guests clearly enjoyed tasting these dishes with the wines and voting for their favorites. Champion Paul Schroeder, Executive Chef at Fountaingrove Golf Club in Santa Rosa, says he is already mulling over ideas for next year's competition. The third annual California Wine Pairing Championships is set for Saturday, August 13, 2016, featuring our 2013 Syrah and 2013 Late Harvest Riesling.