Clean Crush pad at Martorana Family Winery

As predicted by Dry Creek Valley winegrowers, harvest 2015 was a smaller yielding year than any of the three vintages before it. That said, the quality of the grapes was outstanding. The 2015 vintage wines are in barrels and tanks right now, and most won’t see tasting rooms for some time. In the meantime, there are many beautiful wines from ‘12, ‘13, ‘14, and even earlier vintages to be tasted at Dry Creek Valley’s 60+ wineries.

We asked a few of our growers and winemakers to look back at this year’s harvest and tell us how their expectations lived up.

Donald Goodkin, owner of Goodkin Vineyards said this year’s harvest was seven days earlier than last year. Goodkin grows cabernet sauvignon and merlot, both of which were somewhat smaller yields than last year. Thanks to Goodkin’s sustainable farming practices, the drought has not caused substantial changes in his vineyard.

Juice at Ridge Lytton Springs

Ashley Herzberg, winemaker at Amista Vineyards, confirmed that this year’s yields were much lower than past years. She is extremely excited about the quality of the winery’s cabernet sauvignon, and says that once released, it’s sure to sell out quickly!

Grape Stomp at Wilson Winery

At Comstock, Dry Creek Valley’s newest winery, Winemaker Chris Russi explains, “2015 started out very dry with an early bud break, early bloom, and quite possibly the earliest harvest on record for most vineyards in Dry Creek Valley. In some cases, we were bringing in fruit more than a month before an average year.” He continues, “Quality is going to be awesome though. Great aromatics and fruit character, fantastic density and structure across the board in our reds.”

Testing brix at Nalle Winery

John Olney, winemaker at Ridge Lytton Springs, said, “Concentration of color and flavor with perfectly balanced acidity is the predominant theme for 2015 in Sonoma. While quantity is down by an average of 25%, quality is high across the board. These are wines to look forward to.”