Behind the great wines you drink in Dry Creek Valley, there are breathtaking vineyards and farms maintained through dynamic viticultural practices. Our winegrowers know and love their land, and most implement sustainable farming techniques to preserve the beauty and functionality of our AVA for future generations and vintages. Just as our growers’ knowledge and expertise enriches the wines they make, your visit to Dry Creek Valley can be enhanced at wineries that offer immersive agricultural experiences. The five wineries on this itinerary take you beyond the tasting room to give you a behind-the-scenes look at unique gardens, livestock, and the process of maintaining a vineyard and farm.
The Agritourism Itinerary
Your Agritourism Itinerary begins just southwest of downtown Healdsburg on Westside Road. DaVero began as a farm when owners Ridgely Evers and Colleen McGlynn planted olive trees he imported from Tuscany. In 2000, they started their first vineyard with sangiovese, and since then they’ve developed a fully Italian-style winery.
Beyond their love for Italian food and culture, the decision to plant a range of Italian grape varieties came from recognizing that the climate in their corner of Dry Creek Valley is similar to the Mediterranean climate of the Italian Peninsula. DaVero Farms and Winery is Demeter-certified biodynamic. In addition to the olive trees and grapevines, DaVero Farms includes fruit trees, citrus, lavender, vegetables, chickens, pigs, and sheep. Your tasting can include DaVero’s wines, olive oils, jams and more. Also of note: They are the only winery in Sonoma County to grow the rare Umbrian grape sagrantino, which makes their most exclusive wine, but it’s not poured in their tastings.
● DaVero Estate Sangiovese Rosato – This highly limited rosé is made with intention, from grapes harvested weeks before the sangiovese they use to make red wine.
● Whether you book the Biodynamic Farm Tour or explore the property on your own, be sure to visit the pigs in their pen and enjoy the gorgeous gardens and Willow Circle along the way.
The second stop on our Agritourism Itinerary takes you up West Dry Creek Road to Quivira Vineyards and Winery, situated at the confluence of Wine Creek and Dry Creek. Founded in 1981, the property has implemented biodynamic farming practices since its inception.
The winery is known for its intense zinfandels, vibrant sauvignon blanc, and, increasingly, for its lush Rhone varieties. Winemaker Hugh Chappelle makes all of Quivira’s wines without the use of commercial yeast, bacteria or enzymes, striving to bring forth varietal character in each of his wines. Each wine features a label with an icon representing a different element of Quivira’s Dry Creek Valley estate, including the red-tailed hawk, Coho salmon, a honeybee, and the property’s beautiful fig tree. When you visit, you can explore the property’s gardens, visit their livestock, check out the compost pile, and take in the view at Wine Creek, where they’ve worked to restore the habitat since 1998.
● Quivira Vineyards Fig Tree Sauvignon Blanc – The flagship white wine at the winery takes its name from the 130 year old fig tree on the property. A portion of the wine is barrel-fermented in a mix of neutral French oak and acacia wood.
● The “Chicken Condo” – Quivira is home to Dry Creek Valley’s fanciest chickens, with more than eleven different breeds happily coexisting in the spacious coop at the estate. If you’ve never seen a chicken you’d call beautiful, that will change when you visit Quivira!
Next on your itinerary, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Dry Creek Valley at the 26-acre Truett-Hurst Winery. Founded in 2007, the site and wines of Truett-Hurst became iconic so immediately that it feels like they’ve been here forever. A visit to Dry Creek Valley would hardly feel complete without a creekside picnic at the winery.
Paul Dolan, Phil Hurst and winemaker Virginia Lambrix operate Truett-Hurst with the goal of creating world-class wines using biodynamic principles. To that end, the tasting room is eco-friendly, and the property features 5 acres of organic gardens as well as a herd of goats. A sign outside the winery will let you know when fish can be seen running in the creek.
● Truett-Hurst Luci Zinfandel – A bold, jammy zin that will be your new best friend whether you’re drinking it on its own or with food.
● Pack a picnic or buy some savory snacks from the tasting room and head down to the creek, where Truett-Hurst has provided plenty of comfortable adirondack chairs with front-row seats to one of Dry Creek Valley’s most idyllic views.
Your next stop will take you to an historic Dry Creek Valley winery that, though built in the 1970s, will remind you of pre-industrial times. Preston of Dry Creek is an organic farm and winery that has changed over time from a conventional estate winery to a diversified farm, counting wine as one of many home-grown and hand-made food products.
The Preston family is committed to food, environmentalism, and community activism. In addition to the winery’s estate-grown, organic wines, you can sample Preston olive oil with owner Lou Preston’s breads, which he’s been baking for more than 30 years. Winemaker Matt Norelli shares Preston’s vision of allowing the property’s idiosyncrasies to shine through in their wines.
● Guadagni – Available on Sundays only, locals flock to Preston to fill up 3-liter jugs with this clean and quaffable field blend, which pays homage to the Italian immigrants who cultivated grapes to make table wines in Dry Creek Valley more than a century ago. The wine even comes with a collectible, hand-drawn sticker.
● The Farm Store – Before or after you visit the tasting room, be sure to drop into the farm store, where you’ll find a broad range of seasonal produce and food products to enjoy fresh or take home with you. Preston Farms also supplies local restaurants with their produce and lamb meat.
Your agritourism itinerary is rounded out with a visit to Martorana Family Winery, a charming winery with certified organic (CCOF) vineyards tucked away on West Dry Creek Road. The Martorana family has been farming in Dry Creek Valley since the 1940s, but only opened their own small-production winery in 2005. Today the winery is run by the third generation, brothers Gio and Tony Martorana. In addition to making delicious wines from a broad range of grapes that thrive in the region, they also grow olive trees from which Gio makes his coveted Olio di Gio.
Beyond the tasting room, you’ll adore the peaceful, rustic landscape of the Martorana property. In 2014, Martorana was the first vineyard ever to be awarded the Private Lands Fish and Wildlife Stewardship Award for their efforts to protect and restore native steelhead and salmon populations at the creek that runs through their property. Since you’ve already enjoyed rushing water of Dry Creek at Truett-Hurst Winery, venture down to the creek at Martorana and compare the view! There’s a single picnic bench you can reserve if you call ahead.
● Martorana Family Winery Merlot – This estate-grown merlot is one of Dry Creek Valley’s finest expressions of the grape.
● The Living Roof – You can walk up a dirt path onto the roof of Martorana’s wine cave, which has been planted with fragrant flowers that attract beneficial insects to the vineyards.
Be sure to check out our other Dry Creek Valley Itineraries here.