Must-Sees in Dry Creek Valley: Your Summer Planning Guide
Late summer is one of our favorite times of year in Dry Creek Valley; plump grapes are ripening on the vines, skies are blue and cloudless, and wineries are gearing up for harvest. Here are a few essential itineraries to help you plan your days.
1) Tasting in Town – Healdsburg Tasting Rooms
You can make a full day of sipping Dry Creek Valley wines right in the town of Healdsburg. Give your palate a chance to refresh while enjoying tasty bites at some of Sonoma’s best restaurants or while shopping in the many local boutiques. Best of all, if you’re staying in town, you can access all of these locations by foot. Visit these tasting rooms:
Gustafson Family Vineyards – Recently opened in 2014, this tasting room allows you to enjoy Gustafson’s fine high-elevation wines without making the 25-minute mountain drive.
Roadhouse Winery – The dog-friendly tasting room will welcome you warmly and offer bold, beautiful red wines.
Selby Winery – A “Best Tasting Room” finalist in the Press Democrat’s “Best of Sonoma 2015” awards, Selby was one of Healdsburg’s first downtown tasting rooms and continues to impress.
Stephen & Walker Trust Winery – Don’t miss their Dry Creek Valley Petite Sirah. The 2012 vintage took home Double Gold in SF Chronicle’s 2015 Wine Competition.
2) Dry Creek Valley’s Rhone-style Wines
Dry Creek Valley winemakers are embracing many different grape varieties that thrive in the region’s diverse soils and microclimates. Among the most successful are grapes that originated in France’s Rhone region. If you love these complex, food-friendly gems, build an itinerary around these wineries.
Frick Winery – Bill Frick’s one-man operation is devoted to Rhone-style wines. You’ll find more than a dozen offerings, both white and red.
Trattore Farms – This organic winery is also home to Dry Creek Olive Oil and is not to be missed. Right now they’re located at Timber Crest Farms, but in September 2015, their much-anticipated hillside winery will open to the public.
Vineyard of Pasterick – By appointment only, this winery specializes in Northern Rhone wines, which means they are home to some of Dry Creek Valley’s finest syrah.
Quivira Vineyards and Winery – Biodynamically-farmed wines with a special emphasis on Rhone grapes.
3) By-Appointment-Only Wineries
Here’s a short list of Dry Creek wineries you may have missed if you’ve never called ahead to plan your visit.
Rafanelli Winery – Iconic zinfandel and excellent cabernet sauvignon and merlot are made at Rafanelli. These wines are not distributed, so a visit to the winery is the best way to get your hands on them.
Gopfrich Winery – Specializing in red wines, all from Dry Creek Valley estate fruit. Your visit will include a tour of the vineyard and the winery.
Estate 1856 – Named for the year their vineyard was first founded, this small winery produces several award-winning wines from Bordeaux grapes.
Simoncini Vineyards – This family-owned winery should be visited with enough time to enjoy their delicious cicheti food and wine menu.