With roots reaching back 140 years, Dry Creek Valley’s history in winegrape growing is among the longest in California. Its fertile landscape attracted settlers soon after the California Gold Rush of 1849. By the late 1880s, the valley had nine wineries and 883 acres of vineyards – the majority planted to Zinfandel, for which Dry Creek is best known. Prohibition ended this first wine boom, with just two wineries remaining after its repeal in 1933, Frei Brothers and J. Pedroncelli, which is still operating today. While some vineyards continued, prunes and pears became the valley mainstay until the California wine revival began in the 1970’s, bringing a dramatic expansion of vineyards and wineries. And in 1983, Dry Creek Valley became one of the first California wine regions to be recognized as an official American Viticultural Area (AVA).
Today, nearly 9,000 acres of vineyards carpet the valley, providing exceptional fruit to over 70 wineries, the majority of which remain family-owned.
Learn more about some of the multi-generational families that helped craft the Dry Creek Valley winegrowing region in this video.
We didn’t begin as experts in farming and producing world-class wines, but through generations of shared knowledge, Dry Creek Valley has established a reputation of just that.
For more information on the history of Dry Creek Valley:
- A Brief History of Dry Creek Valley / Julie Pedroncelli
- A History in Vines
- Dry Creek Valley Timeline