Posts Categorized: Seasonal

ZINFANDEL RATINGS FOR SUMMER

If you’re looking for that perfect zinfandel to bring to your next cookout, you have enough common sense to know you start with one labeled Dry Creek Valley. But with over 60 wineries crafting incredible expressions of zin, it’s hard to know just which one is right. For when you need to make a quick decision, and you can’t taste through hundreds of bottles (bummer…), we suggest turning to the ratings – professional and personal.

For this all-encompassing blog we’re combining the most recent Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast ratings, regional competitions, and the more casual Vivino Top 25 and local Throwdown marks – all in a variety of price points. Let it be known that ratings aren’t the ultimate decision whether a wine is a winner because many of our smaller wineries choose not to submit wines for ratings, and all of our palates are different so the final (and most important rating) comes from you!


Vivino’s Top 25 Zinfandels in the World Right Now

Ratings change weekly based on the best consumer reviewed wines in the Vivino app.

#8 Talty’s Dry Creek Valley Estate Zinfandel 2014 4.7/5

#23 Wilson Sydney Zinfandel 2016 4.6/5

#25 Bella Vineyards Barrel 32 4.6/5

 

Wine Spectator Ratings

“Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale is an attempt to help our readers understand our judgments of a wine’s quality. A wine rated 80-84, for example, was judged to be good (“a solid, well-made wine”), while one rated 85-89 is very good (“a wine with special qualities”). When assigning a score, the taster judges the wine’s structure, flavors and typicity (how well it reflects its grape variety, region and vintage). In order to eliminate bias, all reviews are done “blind”—that is, the taster does not know the producer or price.” – WineSpectator.com. Ratings from the June, 30, 2018 Report.

Armida Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Maple Vineyards 2015  88pts        $40

Armida Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Tina’s Block Maple Vineyards 2015      87pts        $48

Armida Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Poizin 2016        87pts        $25

Comstock Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2014   89pts        $42

Dry Creek Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Old Vine 2015           89pts        $35

Dry Creek Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Beeson Ranch Single Vineyard Series 2015  88pts        $45

Dry Creek Zinfandel Sonoma County Heritage Vines 2016   90pts        $24

Dry Creek Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley DCV2 Four Clones Vineyard Single Vineyard Series 2015           91pts        $42

Kinsella Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Spencer Vineyard 2014 86pts        $50

Kokomo Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Timber Crest Vineyard Winemaker’s Reserve 2015   91pts           $38

Kokomo Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2016      90pts        $28

Kokomo Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Pauline’s Vineyard 2016           91pts        $36

Mauritson Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2015  93pts        $37

Mazzocco Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Verano 2015  88pts        $32

Mazzocco Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Smith Orchard Reserve 2015            88pts        $52

Mazzocco Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Maple Reserve 2015 90pts        $60

Papapietro Perry Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2015   91pts        $43

Pedroncelli Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Mother Clone 2015 88pts        $20

Pedroncelli Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Bushnell Vineyard 2015      91pts        $25

Quivira Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2015       88pts        $25

Quivira Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Black Boar 2015            89pts        $48

Quivira Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Anderson Ranch 2015   90pts        $42

Ridge Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley East Bench 2015   90pts        $32

Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley 2015  92pts        $40

Saini Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Olive Block Old Vine 2014 89pts        $38

Saini Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2016           90pts        $24

Seghesio Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Cortina 2015   94pts        $40

Truett Hurst Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Red Rooster Old Vine 2014           88pts        $37

Wilson Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Ellie’s 2015         88pts        $38

Wilson Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Nolan 2015         88pts        $42

Zo Wines Zinfandel 2017     92pts   $44

 

Wine Enthusiast Ratings

“Our reviewers assign ratings to all wines using the following scale: Classic 98-100: The pinnacle of quality. Superb 94-97: A great achievement. Excellent 90-93: Highly recommended. Very Good 87-89: Often good value; well recommended. Good 83-86: Suitable for everyday consumption; often good value. Acceptable 80-82: Can be employed in casual, less-critical circumstances. Wines receiving a rating below 80 are not reviewed. Although each of our reviewers is free to use their own rubric, we stress the importance of evaluating balance, length, intensity and complexity as the basis for our ratings.” Wine Enthusiast

Bella 2016 Lily Hill Estate Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)        93pts        $48

Bella 2015 Maple Vineyards Annie’s Block Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley) 93pts            $55

Bella 2015 Florence Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)                 92pts        $40

Dry Creek Vineyard 2016 Old Vine Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)     90pts        $35

Dry Creek Vineyard 2015 Spencer’s Hill Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)         92pts        $42

Kokomo 2016 Timber Crest Vineyard Winemaker’s Reserve Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)     90pts        $40

Pedroncelli 2016 Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)    88pts        $26

Preston 2016 Estate Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley) 91pts        $38

Preston 2016 Estate VZNI Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)     90pts        $42

Quivira 2016 Black Boar Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)      92pts        $48

Quivira 2016 Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)             91pts        $25

Quivira 2016 Anderson Ranch Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)         87pts        $48

Sbragia 2016 Nonno’s Reserve Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)                        90pts        $44

Sbragia 2016 La Promessa Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)      87pts        $40

Sbragia 2015 Gino’s Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)     86pts        $34

Seghesio 2016 Bevill/Wolcott Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)         91pts        $50

Seghesio 2016 Cortina Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)                                     93pts        $40

Zo Wines 2017 Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley) 88pts        $38

 

Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Throwdown (Hosted by Dry Creek Vineyard)

This blind-tasting is comprised of dozens of Dry Creek Valley zinfandel architects, who taste brown-bagged zins and vote for their favorite in this festive evening.

3) Amista Vineyards

2) Talty Vineyards

1) F. Teldeschi Zinfandel

 

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

There are many classes in which wineries can submit their wines to for the SFCWC in a variety of pricing categories. Awards are given for Double Gold, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Best of Class and Varietal Sweepstakes. A public tasting is held for all winners in San Francisco that is open to the public.

Zinfandel: $17.00 – $22.99: 2019 Awards

Pedroncelli      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Mother Clone  19.00   Bronze

 

Zinfandel: $23.00 – $25.99: 2019 Awards

Armida            2017    Dry Creek Valley                     25.00   Silver

Saini Vineyards           2017    Dry Creek Valley                     24.00   Silver

 

Zinfandel: $26.00 – $28.99: 2019 Awards

Francis Ford Coppola Director’s Cut   2015    Dry Creek Valley                     27.00   Gold

Kokomo Winery          2017    Dry Creek Valley                     28.00   Silver

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley                     26.00   Silver

Pedroncelli      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Bushnell Vineyard       26.00   Bronze

Gustafson Family Vineyards   2016    Dry Creek Valley         Cuvee  28.00   Bronze

 

Zinfandel: $29.00 – $31.99: 2019 Awards

Pedroncelli      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Courage          30.00   Double Gold

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Aguilera          29.00   Silver

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Briar    29.00   Silver

Forchini Vineyards & Winery  2016    Dry Creek Valley         Estate Grown & Bottled          30.00   Silver

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Wilson Winery 29.00   Silver

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Wilson Winery 29.00   Silver

 

Zinfandel: $32.00 – $34.99: 2019 Awards

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Warm Springs Ranch  34.00   Double Gold

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Sullivan            34.00   Gold

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Reserve Sonoma County         34.00   Gold

Amphora         2015    Dry Creek Valley         Gasparini-Beals Vineyard       34.00   Gold

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Beasley            34.00   Gold

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Seaton 34.00   Silver

Dutcher Crossing        2016    Dry Creek Valley         Proprietor’s Reserve   33.00   Silver

Geyser Peak Winery   2016    Dry Creek Valley                     32.00   Silver

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Verano 32.00   Silver

 

Zinfandel: $35.00 – $37.99: 2019 Awards

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Maria  36.00   Gold

Dry Creek Vineyard    2016    Dry Creek Valley                     35.00   Gold

Kokomo Winery          2017    Dry Creek Valley         Pauline’s Vineyard      36.00   Gold

Martorana Family Winery      2015    Dry Creek Valley                     36.00   Silver

 

Zinfandel: $38.00 – $40.99: 2019 Awards

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Nolan   38.00   Double Gold

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Old Vine Ellie’s            38.00   Double Gold

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Reserve Aguilera        40.00   Gold

ZO Wines        2017    Dry Creek Valley                     38.00   Gold

Collier Falls     2014    Dry Creek Valley         Hillside Estate 38.00   Gold

Seghesio Family Vineyards     2016    Dry Creek Valley         Cortina            40.00   Silver

Sbragia Family Vineyards       2016    Dry Creek Valley         La Promessa    40.00   Silver

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         West Dry Creek           38.00   Bronze

Saini Vineyards           2016    Dry Creek Valley         Apple Block     38.00   Bronze

Saini Vineyards           2016    Dry Creek Valley         Olive Block      38.00   Bronze

Saini Vineyards           2016    Dry Creek Valley         Pear Block       38.00   Bronze

 

Zinfandel: $41.00 – $49.99: 2019 Awards

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Pony    42.00   Double Gold

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Carls    42.00   Gold

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Heartland        42.00   Gold

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Molly’s 42.00   Gold

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Forchini           42.00   Gold

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Sawyer 42.00   Gold

Capo Creek     2015    Dry Creek Valley         Eva’s Vineyard 42.00   Silver

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Sydney 42.00   Silver

Dry Creek Vineyard    2015    Dry Creek Valley         Spencer’s Hill Vineyard           42.00   Silver

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Treborce         42.00   Silver

Armida            2016    Dry Creek Valley         Maple Vineyards         42.00   Bronze

 

Zinfandel: $50.00 and Over: 2019 Awards

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Sydney 60.00   Double Gold

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Molly’s Reserve          60.00   Gold

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Tori’s Reserve 60.00   Gold

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Sawyer Reserve          60.00   Gold

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Reserve Pony  60.00   Gold

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Reserve West Dry Creek         56.00   Gold

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Reserve Seaton           52.00   Gold

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Reserve Warm Springs           52.00   Gold

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Reserve Maple            60.00   Silver

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Sullivan            52.00   Silver

Comstock Wines         2015    Dry Creek Valley         Old Vine          55.00   Silver

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Reserve Serracino       56.00   Silver

Mazzocco Sonoma      2016    Dry Creek Valley         Reserve Smith Orchard          52.00   Silver

Wilson of Dry Creek    2016    Dry Creek Valley         Carl’s Reserve 60.00   Silver

 

North Coast Wine Challenge – The Press Democrat

The judging methodology for this local wine competition is based on the wines being designated the ranking of Best of Class by Category, Best of County, and ultimately the Best of the Best as top award.  Panels are comprised of qualified members of wine media, wine buyers, sommeliers, winemakers, and wine educators. Medals awarded will be Double Gold and Gold. Golds will be converted into a point score above 90 and all 90+ point wines will get a marketable positive comment from the judging panel it was judged by. Winners are invited to pour at the North Coast Wine & Food Festival for the public which features not only wineries, but local food vendors and musicians as well!

Gold Medal

Dutcher Crossing 2016 Proprietor’s Reserve Zinfandel         93pts

Geyser Peak Winery 2016 Winemaker Select Zinfandel       91pts

Mazzocco Sonoma 2016 Briar Zinfandel        90pts

Mazzocco Sonoma 2016 Seaton Zinfandel     93pts

Mazzocco Sonoma 2016 Beasley Zinfandel   94pts

Pedroncelli 2016 Courage Zinfandel  92pts

Truett Hurst 2016 Estate Zinfandel Reserve 97pts

Truett Hurst 2017 Three Vineyards Zinfandel            95pts

Wilson of Dry Creek 2016 Zinfandel 91pts


You can purchase these wines directly from the winery either at the tasting room or online, by calling your local specialty wine shops or a handful of these wineries are in distribution across the United States! Here are the above mentioned wineries’ websites for quick access –

Amista Vineyards www.amistavineyards.com

Amphora Wines www.amphorawines.com

Armida Winery  www.armida.com

Bella Vineyards & Wine Cave www.bellawinery.com

Capo Creek Winery www.capocreekranch.com

Collier Falls www.collierfalls.com

Comstock Wines www.comstockwines.com

Dry Creek Vineyard www.drycreekvineyard.com

Dutcher Crossing Winery www.dutchercrossingwinery.com

Francis Ford Coppola  www.francisfordcoppolawinery.com

Forchini Vineyards & Winery  www.forchini.com

Geyser Peak Winery   www.geyserpeakwinery.com

Gustafson Family Vineyards www.gfvineyard.com

Kinsella Estates www.kinsellawines.com

Kokomo Winery www.kokomowines.com

Martorana Family Winery www.martoranafamilywinery.com

Mauritson Wines www.mauritsonwines.com

Mazzocco Sonoma www.mazzocco.com

Papapietro Perry www.papapietro-perry.com

Pedroncelli Winery www.pedroncelli.com

Preston Farms & Winery www.prestonfarmandwinery.com

Quivira Vineyards www.quivirawine.com

Ridge Vineyards www.ridgewine.com

Saini Vineyards www.sainivineyards.com

Sbragia Family Vineyards www.sbragia.com

Seghesio Family Vineyards  www.seghesio.com

Talty Winery www.taltyvineyards.com

F. Teldeschi Winery www.teldeschi.com

Truett Hurst Winery www.truetthurst.com

Wilson of Dry Creek www.wilsonwinery.com

Zo Wines www.zowines.com


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Event Roundup for Valentine’s & Presidents’ Day Weekend

There are so many amazing things to do the next couple of weekends in Dry Creek Valley that we decided to round them up all in one easy place for you!

Whether you’re celebrating the love of your life or simply overjoyed to have a 3-day weekend, there’s something coming up for everyone at our beautiful wineries. Plus, the photo ops this time of year are some of our favorites. Make sure to tag your photos #drycreekvalley, for a chance to be featured on our social media channels!


SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9TH – –

Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival (Free Event for Families)

11am-4pm. Don Clausen Fish Hatchery/Milt Brandt Visitor Center, 3333 Skaggs Springs Rd, Geyserville

California’s largest celebration of the migration of Steelhead Trout! A great, family-friendly event for all ages. Enjoy food trucks, Bear Republic beer, wines from the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley, Arts and crafts projects for the kids, archery, live music – and even fishing for the kids. Snag a trout to take home for dinner! Educational tours of the Congressman Don Clause Fish Hatchery, wildlife and conservation exhibits, and more.

We’re pouring some incredible wines from: Amista Vineyards, Dry Creek Vineyard, Ferrari-Carano, Geyser Peak, Gustafson Family Vineyards, Kokomo Winery, Pedroncelli Winery, Peterson Winery, Quivira Vineyards and Truett Hurst.

More details here.

Valentines Day Barrel Tasting & Photo Op at Cast Wines

8500 Dry Creek Road Geyserville, CA

More details here.


ALL WEEKEND, FEBRUARY 15-18TH

Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Release at Comstock Wines

1290 Dry Creek Rd, Healdsburg

We are excited to announce the release of our first Vintage of Blanc de Blanc Sparking Wine. Reserve a Terrace Tasting, and enjoy some bubbles as part of your flight! Reservations recommended.

More details here.

 


FRIDAY FEBRUARY 15TH

Local’s Day at Amista Vineyards

11am-6pm. 3320 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg. 

Join us for our February Local’s Day Event! February isn’t all chocolate, roses and romance! There are still plenty of reasons to celebrate! Think of holidays like Tater Tot Day, Fat Tuesday and Drink Wine Day (our favorite holiday)! So bring your friends to Amista Vineyards and enjoy some bubbles and still wines and celebrate Drink Wine Day on February 15th.

As always, we’ll be pairing something tasty with one of our Amista wines. Come taste, re-stock your cellar after the holidays and enjoy spending time with friends! And, as always, enjoy Wine Club benefits for the day, which includes access to some of our Wine Club only wines.
Please let us know you’re coming!

RSVP to [email protected]


SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16TH

Sweetheart’s Lunch Table at Sbragia Family Vineyards

9990 Dry Creek Rd, Geyserville.

Treat your sweetheart to a special Valentine’s Day experience at the winery. Indulge in Estate Chef Heidi Finney’s four-course wine and food pairing menu to celebrate the special occasion. Taste love inspired dishes with a selection of our award-winning wines. We invite you to join us for an intimate lunch experience held in our Library Room, with limited seating. Taste our wines the way they are intended- with food and loved ones.
Please allow 90 minutes for the experience. Offering two seatings, 11 am, and 2 pm.  $140 per couple / Wine Club $120 per couple.

More details here.

Rosé Release & Hog Island Oysters at Papapietro Perry

4971 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg.

2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Hog Island Oysters & Your Sweetheart. What a way to spend the holiday weekend! Join us as we celebrate the release of our popular always-sells-out Rosé of Pinot Noir. Pair the Rosé with oysters from the world-famous Hog Island Oyster Company. They will be here from 11:00 to 4:00 selling their fresh and grilled oysters, yum, yum! Wine by the glass and bottle available – $8.00 / $32.00 (Other wines available also) Come rain or shine – we’ll be outside if the weather cooperates or in the cellar where it is warm and cozy if it rains. This event is from 11:00 – 4:00. Reservations requested, but not required.

More details here.

Romantic Dinner at Michel Schlumberger

4155 Wine Creek Road, Healdsburg .

Leave the details to us and impress your loved one with a beautiful evening at our romantic Estate! Your night will begin with delicious hors-d’oeuvres and Sparkling wine reception, followed by an exquisite three-course wine dinner in our transformed barrel room. Catered by Laurence Hauben of Market Forays.

More details here.


 

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17TH

Wine Lovers Event & Pick-Up Party at Mounts

3901 Wine Creek Rd, Healdsburg

Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate…..a divine love affair dating back thousands of years! Join us as we indulge in creative and delicious pairings! 
Our winter wine club package will be featured and can be picked up by members. Two complimentary passes for members, member guest price is $15 per person. Ticket price: $25 per person (non-member) RSVP is required to attend event. Email us at [email protected] to reserve your spot!

More details here.


Pairing Dry Creek Valley Wines with Your Favorite (and Not so Favorite) Holiday Activities

We all know that the Holiday season is filled to the brim with cheer, family, friends, Holiday parties, UPS deliveries, and festively shaped cookies but it also has its fair share of crowded parking lots, wrapping presents, fruitcake, and broken heirloom ornaments. Lucky for us all, there’s Dry Creek Valley wine to fit seamlessly into your perfect (or not so perfect) Holiday season. Here’s our expert advice –


Ugly Sweater + Wine Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Wine for Your Office’s Ugly Sweater Party

Who knew that finding a perfect ugly sweater while still looking presentable would be so complicated? Thankfully, picking the picture-perfect wine for your office’s party won’t be! Peterson Winery bottles come dressed with hand sketched animals – doesn’t their 2014 Dry Creek Zinfandel look especially festive, and bonus, it’s delicious!

Wine for Wrapping Presents

There are those who love to wrap up presents with ribbons and bows while others struggle to keep track of the scissors and tape. We think a crisp and refreshing, Sauvignon Blanc like that from Quivira Vineyards or Comstock Wines will keep your wrapping paper edges clean, your station organized and humming along to whatever carol currently on the radio.

Fireplace Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Wine for Sipping Fireside

Maybe you’re in the living room of your ski condo high in the mountains fresh off the slopes, maybe you’re on your own couch at home while the kids are watching a holiday movie, no matter your exact situation we can practically feel the warmth of our favorite fleece blanket and a glass of spicy, fruity and comforting Zinfandel in our hand. Try Dry Creek Vineyard’s Old Vine Zinfandel or any of Saini Vineyard’s multiple Zins to keep you extra warm this season.

Wine for Baking Cookies

Sugar cookies, snickerdoodles and chocolate chip – oh my! While you’re getting those cookies ready for the neighbors’ cookie plates, you’ll feel extra jolly as you sip on a buttery and smooth Chardonnay. For a classic California style, try the Home Ranch Chardonnay from Sbragia Family Vineyards. Or if you’re interested in a different style, you’ll love the newly released and highly acclaimed Chardonnay from Zo Wines . Just don’t forget to set the cookie timer!

Wine for After Christmas Eve Shopping

Cheers Photo by Alasdair Elmes on Unsplash

T’was the afternoon before Christmas and all through the town, the cars were a rushing and racing around. The parking lot was packed full – oh there’s a spot there! No wait, that’s a smart car, how is that even fair? You went in and grabbed the last thingamabob on your list, got in the line, and waited 20-minutes for an understandably less-than-cheery cashier to assist. Now you’re home, you made it through all those troubles. Surely what you need is a glass of Dry Creek Valley bubbles! Take a breath, look around – kids in bed, presents wrapped, all of this and more you’ve achieved, trust us, a glass of Amista Vineyards or West Wines is just what you need.  “Raise your glass for a cheers,” you say with delight. “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Wine for your Holiday Dinner

When planning that holiday dinner, you need to make sure have enough wine to go around! Why not supersize the wine to go with that Prime Rib? Magnums and other large format bottles make for a gorgeous and delicious centerpiece that always come with a story. All of our wineries offer large format bottles of their most favorite vintages. Just ask and you’ll be delighted by what’s inside! Our favorite magnums come from Bella Vineyards + Wine Caves or any of those found in these amazing gift boxes from Lambert Bridge Winery.


How are you pairing your wines this holiday season? Share with us using the hashtag #drycreekvalley for a chance to be featured on our social media channels!

Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

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11 FUN FACTS ABOUT HARVEST

11 FUN FACTS ABOUT HARVEST

  1. Most grapes are harvested at night! Harvesting at night saves money (no need to cool grapes before crushing), is easier on the workers and ensures a stable sugar level in the grapes, something that fluctuates when the temperature rises.

 

  1. The flavors of wine are affected by how long the grapes are on the vine. Earlier harvested grapes have lower sugar levels and higher acidity for a crisp, tart wine (typically white wines!). Red grapes require a more balanced sugar and acidity level for complexity. And dessert wines are left on the vines the longest!

 

  1. It’s not the grapes that determine the color, it’s the skin. Skin contact when making wine is called “maceration” and extracts color and fruit flavor from the skins without any bitter tannins! Think of it like making a cup of tea and how leaving a tea bag in your cup affects the color and flavor.

 

  1. Rosé isn’t a grape variety like zinfandel or sauvignon blanc, rather a style of winemaking that is made from red wine grapes!  To achieve the pink shades found in rosé, a wine is kept in contact with the grape skins for just hours. You can learn more about the different styles of rosé here

 

  1. Sauvignon blanc was first planted in Dry Creek Valley by Dry Creek Vineyard founder, David Stare. This grape grows best in DCV due to the well-draining + mineral rich soils and notable temperature change from day to night aka the diurnal shift! Read more about Dry Creek Valley’s signature white wine.

 

  1. Today, nearly 2,200 acres of zinfandel are farmed in Dry Creek Valley making it the top planted grape in the region. In the 1870s, Frenchman Georges Bloch planted the first zinfandel in Dry Creek Valley. By the 1880s, zin was the dominant grape planted across 900 acres of the region and continues to be to this day.  

 

Giovanni and John Pedroncelli

Jim and his son John Pedroncelli in the vineyard.

  1. After about age 50, a zinfandel vine is considered “old,” but at 50, zin may not yet be half-way through its life. In Dry Creek Valley, you will find vineyards with vines that are more than 120-years-old! “Old vines contribute an intensity and complexity of flavor to the wine that cannot be replicated by any other method,” says Ridge Vineyards, whose 115-year-old Lytton-Springs vines make one of the nation’s best-loved Dry Creek Valley zinfandel blends. Want to study up on Old Vine Zin? We got you covered.

 

  1. The big 3 of a winemaker’s decision to harvest grapes are sugar, acid and tannin. Sugar and acid are measured with a refractometer – tannins however are sampled by tasting the grape!

 

The traditional “blessing” of the first chardonnay grapes brought in at Amista Vineyards

  1. Cheers! Grapes for sparkling wines are harvested notably earlier than others because winemakers are looking for a higher acidity. They are harvested with extra care as to not to disturb the flavors and minimize any harsh compounds that may be imparted from the skin of the grape. Be on the lookout for new sparkling wines coming from Dry Creek Valley wineries in the future!

 

  1. Did you know that it takes a newly planted vineyard at least 3-years to produce fruit that’s quality enough to go grape to glass? Then at least a year after that until your bottled wine is ready to drink! More if you’re looking to age your wine in oak.  Good thing we’re patient – mostly because we know it’s worth the wait.

 

  1. Time for some harvest math! Per acre of wine there are 1.5-7 tons of grapes produced. Per ton of grapes there are roughly 150 gallons of wine. 1 barrel of wine is 60 gallons which is about 295 bottles of wine (24 cases). AND there are ~30lbs of grapes per case of wine and ~2.4lbs of grapes in one bottle of wine. Phew – time for a glass!

Harvest is one of the best times to visit us in Dry Creek Valley.

Start planning your trip today.

 


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Summer of 2018 in Dry Creek Valley

All seasons in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Wine Country are beautiful ones; but there’s something about the summer atmosphere that has our hearts. Tasting rooms are bustling, grape vines are full of growth and vigor, white and rosé wines get their moment in the sun, BBQ & zinfandel on the daily, picnics by the creek with fresh baguettes & local delicacies from the Dry Creek General Store…trust us, we could go on!

We wanted to share some of our favorite snapshots from this summer of 2018 in Dry Creek Valley. Don’t forget to use #drycreekvalley for a chance to be featured on our website & social channels, and if you want a little Dry Creek Valley in your every day, follow us on Instagram (@drycreekvalleywines).


These bees are busy in the biodynamic gardens at Quivira Vineyards! Featured on our Agritourism Itinerary.

 


Lots of sun means the solar panels at eco-friendly Ridge are happy and brimming with sustainable energy!

 


Visit Dry Creek in late-July early August and you might catch a glimpse of these beautiful bunches. Turning purple and delicious. Next step – harvest!

 


A big welcome to our newest winery, Zo Wines! Be sure to check out their all encompassing farm-stay for a true grape-to-glass experience.

 


Summer concerts are good for the soul. We’re so lucky Geyser Peak always has such an incredible line-up! Visit our events page to see what else is going on in the Valley.

 


Freshly harvested Dry Creek Peaches. Need we say more?

 


Sundresses + vineyards + sunglasses + glass filled from one of our Dry Creek Valley wineries = the picture perfect day.

 


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SPRING IN DRY CREEK VALLEY – A PHOTO BLOG

Spring is such a gorgeous time to be in Dry Creek Valley – Sonoma Wine Country. Spring welcomes endless seas of yellow mustard flowing parallel with nearly-budding vines , crisp and fresh air and tasting rooms tempting you with their newest rosé releases featuring pink hues rivaling the Valley’s cherry blossom blooms.

Make sure you’re tagging your Dry Creek Valley adventures with #drycreekvalley to be featured in our next photo blog! And follow us on Instagram – because you can never have too many sweeping vineyard views,  wine tasting secrets and Wine Country updates in their feed.


A sturdy old vine stands tall among the mustard at @DryCreekVineyard‘s Beeson Ranch


@SbragiaFamilyVineyards newest wine & cheese pairing on their patio is our dream way to spend the afternoon


@DryCreekValleyWines highlights the hard work that takes place in spring featuring @ned_horton, vineyard manager at @quivira_vineyards with this beautiful pic of some late winter zinfandel pruning.


@DutcherCrossing only made 100 cases of this gorgeous rosé set to release late April – aka Passport weekend!


Humans aren’t the only ones who love #DryCreekValley in spring so does @rubyluwinedog!


Which winery to choose – how about all of them! @SonomaWineLife captured this beautiful dilemma at one of Dry Creek Valley’s crossroads.


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Wine Paired With Life: Fall Night-In

Fall Night In Image Dry Creek Valley

With October being a busy month for all – sometimes we think the best way to relax is in the comfort of your own home, turn on your new favorite tv show and enjoy the company of your longest friends. This removes the hassle and hustle of going out. While we’re 100% in support of ordering your favorite Chinese take-out for your friends to pair with a refreshing Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc, why not try something new! Here are a few quick, easy recipes to help you look like a pairing-pro and that are sure to delight even your pickiest of friends (looking at you, Karen!)

 

Rhone Whites & Cheesy Pumpkin Chickpea Croquettes

There’s no doubt that the Pumpkin is the ultimate icon for October, so let’s celebrate with this crunchy take on classic fall flavor. Pair these bites with a medium-bodied Rhone white wine, such as Marsanne-Roussane, Viognier or a blend and let the stone-fruit and nutty flavors complement the cheesy goodness of your croquettes.

We suggest these Dry Creek Valley Rhone Whites:

Trattore Farms & Winery – MR (60% Marsanne, 40% Roussanne), $35

Mounts Family Winery – Verah Blanc (52% Roussanne, 37% Grenache Blanc, 6% Picpoul Blanc & 5% Marsanne), $28

West Wines – Viognier, $23

Find the recipe for Cheesy Pumpkin Chickpea Croquettes by clicking here to go to Babble.com

 

Zinfandel & BBQ Turkey Meatballs

We know that turkey doesn’t take center stage until the end of November, but why does turkey only get Thanksgiving in the sun? This versatile and healthy meat works so well with the spices from your favorite BBQ sauce making it a perfect pairing for Dry Creek Valley’s signature red wine – Zinfandel! We won’t tell your friends how many of these you ate before they actually showed up…promise.

Try pairing any of these Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels:

Dry Creek Vineyard – Old Vine Zinfandel, $32

Chateau Diana – Zombie Zin, $9 or $28 for reserve

Seghesio Family Vineyards – Cortina Zinfandel, $40

Whip up a batch of these spicy turkey meatballs with this recipe from Sugar Dish Me.

 

Carignane & Sweet Potato Rounds with Goat Cheese

Carignane comes typically bursting with fall flavors of cranberries and baking spice. Making it one of our favorite wines to drink when the leaves turn. This wine is renowned for is food pairing capability so you are welcome to branch off and try your own special recipe. One incredible pairing we can’t get enough of is this savory sweet combination of sweet potatoes and goat cheese.

Stock up on these Dry Creek Valley Carignanes for Autumn:

Frick Winery – Carignane, $26

Peterson Winery – Carignane, Bradford Mountain Estate, $30

Amphora Vineyards – Carignane, Forchini Vineyards, $35

Check out Ciao Florentina for this tasty Sweet Potato Rounds recipe.


What are your favorite Dry Creek Valley pairings to share with friends? Share with us on our social channels for a chance to be featured on our page!

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Winter Weather – A Photo Blog

This winter weather in Dry Creek Valley has been anything but dry! But all that rain sure does make for beautiful and unique pictures. Don’t worry, the vines are dormant this time of year and the weather does not harm them (or your favorite wines!) in any way.

Our wineries and visitors have a great eye for the aesthetic and capturing the natural beauty of any season! Here are some of our favorites:

 

Our #california vines got the cold shoulder this morning… #brrr ❄

A photo posted by A Wine&Spirits Top 100 Winery (@drycreekvineyard) on

Frost, fog & floods definitely sum up this winter & @DryCreekVineyard is seizing every picture-perfect moment.

 

We think @DeLaMontanya_Winery captioned this photo best!

 

Foggy vineyards make a moody and dramatic scene at the Dry Creek Valley General Store (@dcgs1881).

 

When you can’t see where the trees begin in the creek – you know it’s been a wet winter! Thanks @TzabachoRanchoVineyards for this great shot.

 

(Check in on the real-time winter weather in Dry Creek Valley – visit our Geography & Climate page!)

 

Lush cover crops between rows of vines at @KokomoWinery provide nutrients to the soils AND gorgeous bursts of colors in this winter weather.

 

Staying warm with our new fire pit… come visit us at #ComstockWines !! #cheers #drycreekvalley #wine #vino #sonomacounty

A photo posted by Comstock Wines (@comstockwines) on

Who says white wine is just for summer drinking? The new fire pit at @ComstockWines is the perfect place to enjoy any Dry Creek wine!

 

That would put the pot of gold right in the middle of Vera’s Block Sauvignon Blanc…

A photo posted by Mill Creek Winery (@millcreekwinery) on

And to wrap up a gorgeous rainbow at @MillCreekWinery. Proof there is beauty to any storm!

 


Instagram_App_Large_May2016_200 Be sure to follow the above wineries and us on Instagram @DryCreekValleyWines to keep up on all things Dry Creek Valley!

Tag us and use the hashtag #drycreekvalley for a chance to be featured across our social media channels.


Olive Harvest in Dry Creek Valley

Dry Creek Valley may be world-renown for its delicious wines, but the same climate and terroir that create such beautiful grapes also are the perfect bedrock for many other crops. You may notice this in the variety of products (other than wine!) that many of Dry Creek Valley tasting rooms offer from day-to-day. One crop in particular grows exceptionally well in Dry Creek Valley and has been for 100+ years – and that is olives! You’ll find a wide diversity of trees such as Tuscan, Spanish and Greek covering acres across the Valley.

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The olive harvest in Dry Creek Valley typically begins directly following the grape harvest. Wineries who have olive trees get no rest until December – if they’re lucky! Wineries harvest these olives and use them to craft high quality olive oils only found locally.

The 2016 Olive Harvest in Dry Creek Valley was overall reported to be lighter than previous years due to drought like climate. But olives are an alternating-bearing crop so comparing to your previous harvest isn’t always an accurate tool to measure by. Here’s a wrap on harvest information from some of our most famous olive oil producers and our newest!


Comstock Wines

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Tracy and Saul Harvesting Olives at Comstock Wines!

The newest winery to the olive oil game is Comstock Wines. This is their first olive harvest in Dry Creek Valley! On their Dry Creek Valley estate, they have over 100 olive trees, mostly the Greek olive variety, Koroneiki, and Spanish variety, Arbequina. The Comstock team was able to harvest all 100 trees in just one day. Hospitality Director, Tracy Bidia said that it was a “fun team building day!” Visit the tasting room in the beginning of 2017 to try their olive oil first!

 

DaVero Farms & Winery

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The Crew Hard at Work Harvesting Olives at DaVero.

DaVero harvests 22 acres of olives on their estate and 5 acres from neighboring property at their Westside property. These olive trees were planted back in 1990 from cuttings that were imported directly from a Tuscan farm. This ancient olive grove is home to olive trees that are over 800 years old!  Olive trees take 25 years to reach full harvest, so DaVero’s trees are in their prime. In 2016 the olive harvest in Dry Creek Valley began for DaVero on October 14th but due to conflicting labor schedules, several rain delays, they are just finishing this week with a sigh of relief. DaVero olive oil is never better than when it is freshly pressed – so be sure to stop by soon to sample some of their acclaimed Olio Nuovo for a real treat.

 

Martorana Family Winery

4 olive harvest in dry creek valley

The Annual Olive Oil Winemaker Dinner at Martorana was a Tasty Success!

Over 340 Spanish and Italian olive trees line 35 acres of vineyards at Martorana Family Winery’s organic estate. These trees were planted by Tony Martorana back in the early 80s. All of these olives go into their exclusive Olio di Gio olive oil, named after their winemaker/owner Gio Martorana. Gio actually began making olive oil first in his career before deciding to become a winemaker. As a celebration of the new olive harvest, Martorana hosts an Olive Oil Winemaker Dinner each November and gives their members the chance to watch Gio press the harvested olives and taste the freshly pressed oil before a 5-course dinner curated around the current pressing of Olio di Gio – talk about an amazing meal!

 

A. Rafanelli Winery

5 olive harvest in dry creek valley

Ready for Pressing at Rafanelli

Since 2006 Rafanelli has planted over 1,600 olive trees located at the winery estate and more located on both north and south of the winery.  These groves have both Spanish and Italians varieties planted consisting of Leccino, Frantoi, Pendolino.  Much like Rafanelli’s Zinfandel grapes, there is a high standard for their olives! The trees are hand harvested every year, the olives cold pressed and then the oil is bottled to sell at the winery. This estate extra virgin oil is delicious for dipping, cooking and finishing dishes with. Currently the 2016 olive oil is settling – you’ll have to wait until 2017 to taste.

 

Trattore Farms

7 olive harvest in dry creek valley

Possibly the most recognized label of olive oil comes from Trattore Farms under the Dry Creek Olive Company label. All around Sonoma County you’ll see these olive oils on shelves and on menus. This year Trattore harvested from their 150+ year old trees for a very special olive oil soon to make its debut. Trattore houses nearly 5 acres of estate fruit and their very own custom olive mill that incorporates both tradition and modern olive oil making styles. Trattore opens its mills to the olive growing community during the olive harvest season during their Community Milling dates. In 2016, olive growers turned out in numbers for a chance to create community olive oil despite the pouring rain.

9951 olive harvest in dry creek valley

Any time of year you can visit Trattore for an in depth lesson and tasting through their olive oils. They even offer perfect variety packs if you can’t choose your favorite!

 

Which Dry Creek Valley olive oil is your favorite? Let us know by tagging us  for a chance to be featured on our pages.

 

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Thanks to all of our wineries for sharing about their 2016 Olive Harvest in Dry Creek Valley!
Tracy Bidia at Comstock Wines / Colleen McGlynn at DaVero Farms & Winery / Andreanna DeForest & Gio Martorana at Martorana Family Winery / Shelly Rafanelli at A. Rafanelli Winery / Mary Louise Bucher at Trattore Farms

Harvest 2016 – A Photo Essay

Harvest 2016 is in full swing in Dry Creek Valley – we’ve seen everything from chardonnay to petite sirah starting to come in. Here in Sonoma County we’ve been seeing consistently cool mornings where the fog lingers until afternoon. While cool weather is a nice break for the vineyard laborers, it definitely slows down the sugar development in the grapes. Even though Dry Creek Valley is only 16 miles long, location and microclimate means that grapes ripen at different rates. Whether you’re in the north end of the valley (where it’s typically warmer) or in the south can make all the difference!

For more detailed information about Dry Creek Valley’s harvest, check out our 2016 Harvest page.

For this year’s photo essay, we took to Instagram for inspiration by searching #drycreekvalley & #scharvest.


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chardonnay-michel-schlumberger harvest 2016

Michel-Schlumberger starts juicing their top grapes to produce 2016 Platinum Chardonnay

 

zinfandel-comstock harvest 2016

Comstock Wines brings in their Estate Zinfandel

 

ripe-pedroncelli harvest 2016

Looks like grapes aren’t the only thing ripe! Tasty Lemon Cucumbers have arrived at Pedroncelli Winery

 

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Look at the gorgeous color on Mill Creek Winery’s future double gold winning Gewurtztraminer

 

 zinfandel-mauritson harvest 2016

Mauritson Wines is in full harvest mode – excited to share with you this 2016 vintage

 

 zinfandel-peterson harvest 2016

First Fruit by the Truckloads for Peterson Winery’s Zinfandel

 

roussanne-mounts harvest 2016

Mounts Winery bringing in Roussanne for their Verah label

 

sauv-blanc-dry-creek-vineyard harvest 2016

The last of Dry Creek Vineyard’s 2016 Sauvignon Blanc has been harvested

For predictions about this knockout vintage and more on Dry Creek Valley’s harvest, check out our 2016 Harvest page.


Updates are coming daily from your favorite Dry Creek Valley Wineries – make sure you stay in the know:

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Use the hashtags #drycreekvalley & #scharvest when searching for the latest Harvest 2016 news!

Photo Credits to These Awesome Instagram Accounts:
@brtny_elyse / @m_schlumberger / @supercallafrajalistick / @Peterson_Winery /
@PedroncelliWine / @ComstockWines / @mountswinery / @drycreekvineyard