Posts Categorized: Wineries & Vineyards



  1. Most grapes are harvested at night! Harvesting at night 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. Grapes harvested earlier (typically whites) have lower sugar levels and higher acidity and make a crisp, tart wine. Red grapes hang longer for the complexity that comes from a more balanced sugar and acidity. Grapes for 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 the process 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, but a style of winemaking using 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  mineral rich, well-draining soils and notable temperature change from day to night. known as 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

John Pedroncelli Sr. and his son John Jr. 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. Want to study up on Old Vine Zin? We got you covered.


  1. The top three components of a winemaker’s decision to harvest grapes are sugar, acid and tannin. Sugar and acid are measured with a refractometer while tannins are sampled by taste.


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

  1. Cheers! Grapes for sparkling wines are harvested notably earlier than other grapes 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. 


  1. Did you know that it takes a newly planted vineyard at least three years to produce fruit of a high enough quality to make wine? Add on a year or more after wine is made until that bottle is ready to drink! Good thing we’re patient – mostly because we know it’s worth the wait.


  1. Time for some harvest math:! Every vineyard acre produces roughly 1.5-7 tons of grapes. Every ton of grapes makes roughly 150 gallons of wine. One barrel of wine contains 60 gallons, which is about 295 bottles of wine (24 cases). 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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2020 Passport Themes: Immersive and Imaginative

Step out of reality and into a wine filled fantasy. Join in the fun as these wineries are transformed into places beyond your imagination. Take part in a nautical adventure or travel through magical lands while sipping on your favorite wines. Enjoy the views and search for clues while you put the pieces together to a murder mystery. 

Keep reading for themes from: Bella Vineyards + Wine Caves, Dry Creek Vineyard, Michel Schlumberger Wine Estate, Sbragia Family Vineyards

Don’t have your tickets yet – well what are you waiting for? 

(or click here to check-out directly through Eventbrite)

Travel past reality and into a world beyond at  Bella Vineyards + Wine Caves

No photo description available.

9711 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg/ 707-473-9171

Beyond Wonderland… A secret forest awaits. Come join a band of curious travelers as we voyage beyond wonderland into a magical world of enchantment and mystery. Follow the fireflies golden light as they lure and guide you deep into the forest, through willows boughs and gentle leaves. Watch the enchanted woodlands come alive. There will be pixies playing, an opera of musicians and mischief makers, glimpses of butterflies taking flight, and trees whispering in song. Travelers far and wide search for this magical place to share in a Forest Feast of wine and decadent food created only for their visit. The wonder and mystery of Bella is forever shared with our inquisitive visitors.

Buses and Limos cannot be accommodated at this location.

Wines Available: Rosé, Zinfandel, Dessert Wine

Grab a compass and a map before sailing on over to Dry Creek Vineyard

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

3770 Lambert Bridge Road, Healdsburg / 707-433-1000

All hands on deck for the incredible wines of Dry Creek Vineyard! Navigate your way through a distinctive tasting of Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Bordeaux varietals in the heart of Dry Creek Valley. Follow the map to where ‘X’ marks the spot to find the salty Sea Dogs, nibble on delicious bites, and be among the first to sip our 2019 Petite Zin Rosé.

Wines Available: Fumé Blanc, Rosé, Zinfandel, Malbec, Meritage, Cabernet Sauvignon

Dietary Accommodations: Vegetarian and Gluten Free option(s) available

Be careful who you trust as you search for clues at Michel Schlumberger Wine Estate

4155 Wine Creek Road, Healdsburg / 707-433-7427

“The show must go on!” Transport back in time to the Moulin Rouge to solve a murder mystery! Discover our beautiful benchland wine estate overlooking Dry Creek Valley, and feast on French-style small bites paired with our Sparkling Brut, Rose, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and our famous red blend, all while searching for clues at our murder mystery themed Passport Celebration! Enjoy futures straight from the barrel, soak up the sunshine on our patio, and sip a variety of wines while trying to solve the mystery of the Murder at the Moulin Rouge! 

Wines Available: Sparkling, Rosé, Red Blend, Zinfandel Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon

Dietary Accommodations: Vegetarian option available

Grab your passport and ditch the tornado before heading to OZ at Sbragia Family Vineyards

9990 Dry Creek Road, Geyserville / 707-473-2992

Follow the yellow-brick road to the land of OZ at Sbragia. Whether you are in search of a witty Chardonnay, hearty Merlot, or Zins for liquid courage, you will find what you desire. Enjoy live entertainment while our Chef whips up some magic with wondrously paired Emerald City inspired bites. Just click your heels together three times and say, ”There’s no place like Sbragia!”

Wines Available: Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel, Red Blend

Dietary Accommodations: Vegetarian and Gluten Free option(s) available

Start planning your trip today with our Itinerary Planner!

Passport guests reading the booklet and planning their next stop

You’ll get a sneak peek of all our wineries’ Passport themes.

Plus you’ll be able to save, send and curate the perfect Passport weekend!




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(or click here to check-out directly through Eventbrite)

Return to the main Passport page.

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

Celebrating Italian-American Culture Month

 “I am an Italian American. My roots are deep in an ancient soil, drenched by the Mediterranean sun, and watered by pure streams from snowcapped mountains. I am enriched by thousands of years of culture. My hands are those of the mason, the artist, the man of the soil.” – Angelo Bianchi, Esq., 1982

October celebrates many things: an end to winegrowers harvest season, a shift to cooler temperatures and the first rains of the season. It kicks off the holiday season with Halloween and Dia De Muertos. But we’re also celebrating Italian American Culture Month. Here in Dry Creek Valley, many wineries and families are rooted in Italian culture. You can notice it simply in the winery names as your drive through – Passalacqua, Forchini, Rafanelli, Teldeschi, Pedroncelli, Seghesio…the list continues.

We’ve found one of the most meaningful ways to celebrate not only Italian-American culture but all cultures is to make certain the stories of our families and their traditions are kept alive. Passing these stories along to our readers ensures a continuing legacy and is just one facet to maintain the rich history and stories you’ll find in Dry Creek Valley. We reached out to a couple of these family owned wineries for Italian American Culture Month to ask them about simple stories of family, food and wine. We present them to you in their own words:

Jim Forchini – Forchini Vineyards & Winery


“My full name is James Franklin Forchini; I am a second generation Italian born in 1938 in Bakersfield, CA. I was named after my paternal grandfather Giacomo Forchini and former president Franklin Roosevelt.  My maternal grandparents were Pietro Bernacchi and Artemia Barggetini who both came from Tuscany in the region of Luca.  My paternal grandparents were Giacomo Forchini and Severina DiGiorgis who came from the regions of Piedmonte & Lombardy in northern Italy. They immigrated to the US in the early 1900s in search for a better life & opportunity.

ia-forchini-bBoth of my grandparents made family wines in Italy & CA.  Our family was centered in Bakersfield where my father was from a family of 8 and my mother from a family of 5.  My father came north during WW2 and was a welder at Mare Island Naval Shipyards then worked in a Ford dealership after the war and later owed a service station in the Bay Area.  Working for my father in the gas station on cars led me to a degree in mechanical engineering and my first career.  I spent however a lot of time with my maternal grandfather as a young boy during the summers and he was a major influence in my second career as a winegrower & winemaker.

Our family daily meals growing up were simple Italian cuisine with dishes of pasta, polenta, risotto, meats, vegetables, fish, salads & soups. For the Holidays we would assemble as many relatives as possible and prepare fancier Italian cuisine featuring handmade ravioli, gnocchi, prime rib roasts, various antipasti & seafood salads.  Wine was always on the table but nothing fancy.  They were dry red & white table wines either homemade or wines purchased in gallon jugs even on the Holidays.  Food was always prepared by the women in the family but the men would BBQ the meats when served.

ia-forchini-cI discovered premium wines after transferring jobs from Southern California to Northern California in 1963.   The 1st premium wines I purchased were from Sebastiani and Pedroncelli.

I made my 1st homemade wine in 1969 with friends using grapes from a vineyard owned by one of my friend’s father.  My amateur winemaking interest continued to grow that led me to purchase an old vineyard in 1971. In 1976  after 15 years of engineering I started a 2nd career as a winegrower.  In 1996 I built our winery and became a commercial winemaker.   I am grateful to my Italian heritage and family genes for the values and work ethics taught me that led to my 2nd career as a winemaker.”

Forchini Vineyards & Winery, 5141 Dry Creek Rd, Healdsburg.


Julie Pedroncelli St. John – Pedroncelli Winery

ia-pedroncelli-1My full name is, “Julie Renee Pedroncelli St. John; I was named after my mom’s best friend Juliette. My grandmother’s name was Julia so I like to think it was a blend of the two; no not until later in high school and college when it was JP or Jules.



I grew up in the house my dad and his family grew up in since 1927. My grandparents came here and bought acreage (25 acres of vineyard), a defunct winery (prohibition) and a home-which we now call World Headquarters for Pedroncelli Winery Inc. The family home became our offices in the early 1980s, my office is actually my old bedroom I shared with my sister Joanna. Happily I don’t have to share it with anyone now.


4-family-bbq-late40s-to-50s[Dinners] usually included a grandparent or two and depending on the time of year also included garden fresh vegetables and fruit. Weeknights we always sat down to dinner together. Sundays were reserved for the bigger family dinners with aunts and uncles. My mom did the cooking-unless it was a BBQ then my dad grilled. Holidays were different because they always included special and delicious foods like homemade ravioli, risotto or polenta. There were many huge feasts usually alfresco during the summertime in the 1950s (before I was born) but when my grandparents retired in the mid-1960s these turned into smaller family dinners.

Recently we have revived those Sunday afternoon meals with family down on our Dry Creek property-those who can make it come and bring a favorite dish and there’s always something tasty on the grill.”

Pedroncelli Winery, 1220 Canyon Rd, Geyserville, CA.

How are you celebrating Italian American Culture Month? Share with us on our social channels using #drycreekvalley or by tagging us at:

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Dry Creek Valley is celebrated for being home to wineries that are family owned and have rich history just like Jim Forchini & Julie Pedroncelli. Plan your own Italian American Culture Month tour on our winery page.

Many thanks to Jim & Julie for sharing their stories with us for this blog!

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.

Follow us for daily updates from your favorite Dry Creek Valley Wineries:

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


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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



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


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First Fruit by the Truckloads for Peterson Winery’s Zinfandel


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Mounts Winery bringing in Roussanne for their Verah label


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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

Veraison – The Final Haul to Harvest

Veraison: the onset of ripening and the change of color of the grape berries. The term is originally French (véraison), but has been adopted into English use.

Combo 2

We’ve reached a beautiful turning point here in Dry Creek Valley – veraison. With this change in color, eager winegrowers and winemakers can see the culmination of the previous 9-months transform into the 2016 vintage. Excited to sneak a peek, we asked our vineyard members, Bob & Joyce Littell of Treborce Vineyards if we could come learn more about the process. Treborce Vineyards is home to beautiful gardens, 2 German Shorthaired Pointers (Woody & Dee Dee) and acres of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah that are used in many highly regarded and award winning wines in the industry. To learn more about Treborce Vineyards, you can visit our past interview with them from 2014.

On the tour Bob Littell first stops in his Petite Sirah vineyard, which boasts nearly purple bunches. In comparison to his Zinfandel grapes, they are further ahead in this transformation. More typically, Sauvignon Blanc is the first to greet veraison and the first to be harvested, while Zinfandel takes more time on the vine to develop its rich and deep flavors. In this case, Petite Sirah falls somewhere in the middle.


Interesting to note though is that some of Littell’s Zinfandel vines, in the same block, for that matter, aren’t all at the same veraison point yet. Some vines are 12% changing and others are well over 75%. There are many factors that contribute to this and growers like Littell go through many tests to see what the vines may be lacking or getting too much of and how to adjust accordingly. Vines seem to have their own unique personality just like the growers and winemakers of Dry Creek Valley.

Veraison doesn’t just affect the color of the grapes, but also the texture and taste. The grapes will get juicier and more voluptuous. And the fruit will get sweeter and more complex. In the vineyard we sampled some grapes, still sour but getting closer to world class wines and worlds different from the green grapes yet to begin the veraison process.


Littell hopes for a more bountiful harvest this year than last which was about 30% lower than average. The increase in rain was great for vine growth. The 2016 Vintage has so far been a great growing year and has many winemaker’s mouths watering with anticipation. And the winegrowers are gearing up for harvest just around the corner. You can find Treborce Vineyard grapes in many recognized Dry Creek Valley labels such as Wilson Winery and Mauritson Family Vineyards.

Stay tuned. Our next stop – harvest!

Thanks and gratitude to Bob and Joyce Littell for welcoming us into their vineyards and for always being  a wealth of knowledge on all things wine and Dry Creek Valley.


In the Vineyard with Richard Rued

In honor of upcoming Father’s Day, we decided to focus our In the Vineyard on a man with deep Dry Creek Valley roots, Richard Rued. On a perfectly sunny and breezy morning in June, we sat down with both him and his wife, Dee, at Rued Winery for an update on their vineyards and a deeper dive into his family’s history.

All About the Family: The Rueds

Steve (left), Paul (on tractor), Richard (back right), Tom (center) & Tyler (lab) Rued

Richard’s great-grandfather, Henry, first came to Northern California in the late 1800s from Switzerland, and planted grapes in Russian River Valley. Henry moved his entire family here in 1890 to a property in Alexander Valley. Both of these locations had vineyards, but were uprooted during Prohibition to plant mostly apples and prunes. The Alexander Valley property was also a small working dairy ranch and the perfect place to raise the Rued family.

It wasn’t until 1957 that the Rueds bought their first Dry Creek Valley property. Richard had taken this new property as a venture for FFA (Future Farmers of America) in High School by growing the family’s first Dry Creek Valley grapes.

Richard remembers getting off the bus from school and going straight to work on their ranch. It was his responsibility to bring in the sheep – a task that his father, Paul, would help him with in a slightly unconventional way. You see, on their property was a small airport. Paul would take Richard up in a plane to search for wherever the sheep were that day so that Richard could ride his horse directly to the flock and not have to spend hours searching. Richard still remembers the steep ascent fondly as time well spent with his dad.

Rued WineryRued Wines - Tasting Room

Both Richard and his wife, Dee, still live in Dry Creek Valley. They have two sons – Steve & Tom, who were both raised in the Valley and now work in the wine business. Tom works in the vineyards with Richard and Steve is the winemaker for the Rueds’ family label – Rued Winery. The label is relatively new with their first vintage in 2000 with their winery and tasting room opening just 10-years ago in 2006. Their wine is a testament to the family’s history of working the ground for many years and are true to the vineyard the grapes were grown in.

In a world of corporate wine – Richard and Dee believe that it’s just as important as ever to keep family wineries around. They both feel pressure as land values increase. The Rueds feel that small production, family style wine has a better value and tastes more authentic. Dee feels that it’s important for guests to see families with a deep history, someone who is living their passion as a way of means, and has been for years. “Most wineries in Dry Creek, when visitors show up, they can almost always talk to an owner, compared to Napa, where you’ll hardly ever see it,” says Richard. “People seem to enjoy talking to us.”

For more Dry Creek Dad’s – check out our Father’s Day blog!

In the Vineyard

In the Vineyard April to June

In Dry Creek Valley, the Rueds have 70 acres including: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, and Zinfandel which according to Richard are seeing a great year so far. This year the vines are really growing due to the increase of water they received during winter and the spring rains. The previous drought years were a means for concern, but this year’s growth is a great sign and gives Richard hope for the 2016 vintage.
“Vines are doing good. They look good!” states Richard. Blooms came a little quick this year, but Rued feels that the timing standard has been consistently inching earlier.  His Chardonnay vineyard, planted in 1990, just behind the tasting room, must be nearly 7-feet tall. Bunches of grapes are full and are starting to get tighter.


What’s next for these vines? The Rueds are anticipating an early harvest in August, but have fingers crossed for September. For these Sauvginon Blanc & Chardonnay grapes, they are harvested first and earliest in the day. White grapes due better when picked in cooler temperatures.

A very big thank you to Richard and Dee for taking the time to sit and talk with us about their family and vines. It’s members like these that make the Dry Creek Valley rich and rooted in values that we hold near and dear. And a very Happy Father’s Day to all!

For daily updates on all of our Dry Creek Valley wineries and vineyards, follow us on Instagram at @drycreekvalleywines and be sure to like us on Facebook @drycreekvalley to keep up to date on all that’s happening!



Dry Creek Valley by Bike

For National Physical Fitness month – we’re celebrating Dry Creek Valley style – by bike! There’s a number of you who have had the chance to sit early morning at the Dry Creek Valley General Store – the air is crisp and the sun is burning off the valley fog. Over a century of agricultural and family history are ever present on the deck of the only commercial building in the Valley.

As you take a sip of your freshly brewed coffee and look at your Dry Creek Valley Map to plan your day, a group of bicyclers come to a rest at one of the five stop signs in the valley and you think to yourself, “what a great way to enjoy the beauty. I’ll have to do that someday.”

General Store Bikes

This article is to help you turn that someday, into this weekend or the next. With local bike companies like Wine Country Bikes & Spoke Folk Cyclery it’s simple to rent and the perfect start to your wine country adventure. You can even schedule your own guided tour! We’re highlighting the perfect winery stops along the way. Dry Creek Valley is the perfect bike ride whatever your skill level.

Suggestions for your Dry Creek Valley Bike Tour

From town you can take the short bike ride over to Dry Creek Road and the adventure begins! Slight hills give your legs the right amount of tingle and the fresh air fills your lungs as adrenaline starts to build. Your view expands as you cycle through the vineyards until all you can see are the endless rows of undisturbed beauty. Peddling past numerous wineries and the thought of tasting on your return ride makes your mouth water.

From town you can take the short bike ride over to Dry Creek Road and the adventure begins! Cycle through the vineyards until all you can see are the endless rows of undisturbed beauty.


Dutcher Crossing Winery

Doesn’t it make sense to start your tasting at Dutcher Crossing – whose label is adorned with an old fashioned bicycle? If you don’t start here because of the irony, do it for the beautiful wines. If you brought a picnic lunch with you, Dutcher Crossing has a beautiful Picnic Area for guests with sweeping views of estate vineyards. Proprietor Debra Mathy knows how to treat her wine club, signing up will not leave you disappointed.

Doesn’t it make sense to start your tasting at Dutcher Crossing – whose label is adorned with an old fashioned bicycle? If you don’t start here because of the irony, do it for the beautiful wines. If you brought a picnic lunch with you, Dutcher Crossing has a beautiful Picnic Area for guests with sweeping views of estate vineyards. Proprietor Debra Mathy knows how to treat her wine club, signing up will not leave you disappointed.


Zichichi Family Vineyard

After you’ve enjoyed your lunch at Dutcher, continue heading south to Yoakim Bridge where you’ll take the right to Zichichi for barrel tasting of their estate wines. The perfect spot for a bike ride, as all wines are sold as futures, so you won’t need to take up space in your bag and you’ll have one more reason to come back. Family owned and operated, each wine is traditionally blended delivering bold, full flavored profiles.

After you’ve enjoyed your lunch at Dutcher, continue heading south to Yoakim Bridge where you’ll take the right to Zichichi Family Vineyard for barrel tasting of their estate wines. The perfect spot for a bike ride, as all wines are sold as futures, so you won’t need to take up space in your bag and you’ll have one more reason to come back. Family owned and operated, each wine is traditionally blended delivering bold, full flavored profiles.


Chateau Diana

Heading back to Dry Creek Road, head south to Chateau Diana for beautiful grounds and a fun atmosphere that will lift your spirits mid-ride. With a wide variety of wines in a variety of price ranges, Chateau Diana has something for any wine lover. Not to mention their wine slushees are guaranteed to cool you down on a hot day.

Heading back to Dry Creek Road, head south to Chateau Diana for beautiful grounds and a fun atmosphere that will lift your spirits mid-ride. With a wide variety of wines in a variety of price ranges, Chateau Diana has something for any wine lover. Not to mention their wine slushees are guaranteed to cool you down on a hot day.


Amista Vineyards

Bubbles are the quintessential refreshment after a long day of biking don’t they? You need to stop at Dry Creek Valley’s main sparkling wine producer, Amista, for your last stop in the valley. Their Blanc de Blanc provides a refreshing and crisp libation. Not to mention you’re surrounded by their gorgeous Morningsong Vineyards. Join their wine club and get to taste their limited release Sparkling Grenache.

Bubbles are the quintessential refreshment after a long day of biking. You need to stop at Dry Creek Valley’s main sparkling wine producer, Amista Vineyards, for your last stop in the valley. Their Blanc de Blanc provides a refreshing and crisp libation. Not to mention you’re surrounded by their gorgeous Morningsong Vineyards. Join their wine club and you get to taste their limited release Sparkling Grenache.


Winding down your day, cycle back into town. After you return your bicycle you’ll be surrounded by many more tasting rooms or, if it’s time for dinner, world-renowned restaurants.

Winding down your day, cycle back into town. After you return your bicycle you’ll be surrounded by many more tasting rooms or, if it’s time for dinner, world-renowned restaurants.

With over 60+ wineries, each Dry Creek Valley bike ride proves to be a new adventure of meeting winemakers and tasting wines. Amazing experience guaranteed in Dry Creek Valley. Download Spoke Folk’s Bike Map and visit our Interactive Winery Map to get started!

Be sure to share with us your favorite Dry Creek Valley by Bike Itinerary by tagging us Facebook/Twitter: @drycreekvalley and Instagram @drycreekvalleywines.

Learn More About Bike Rentals and Guided Tours in Healdsburg at these Local Establishments:


Last Round of Winery Themes for 2016 Passport

Passport to Dry Creek Valley – Last Round of Themes Revealed!

We made it! With this round of themes we feature our wineries and tasting rooms in the town of Healdsburg. You now are fully prepared to plan your Passport Weekend.

Download all of these descriptions in this printable PDF and then head over to our Interactive Itinerary Planner to start planning. Don’t forget to schedule in a Vineyard Tour either!


Manzanita Creek Winery

Sip and savor award-winning wines paired with tapas, Spanish style small plates, at Manzanita Creek!  Enjoy our great our wines, warm hospitality, and exclusive specials on current release and reserve wines.   Our warehouse winery will be your getaway to Spain for Passport – join us at our friendly and fun filled tasting room!

Manzanita Creek


Seghesio Family Vineyards

Get your Passport stamped at Seghesio Family Vineyards where you will be transported to the largest islanda in the Mediterranean… Sicily!! Just off the toe of Italy’s boot. Celebrate with us in our historic grove with live music, bocce ball, and of course a Sicilian inspired food and wine extravaganza!



Want to win a large format bottle of Seghesio’s Old Vine Zinfandel?

Purchase a $5 raffle ticket for a chance to win this and other great Passport prizes!


Selby Winery

Indulge your senses down on the Bayou!  Join us as we reveal the mysteries of the swamps, marshes and “joie de vivre” of Louisiana.  Fest-goers will experience cuisine prepared by famous Chef Donelon of New Orleans who will pair our Dry Creek Valley Reserves with Crawfish Cornbread, Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya, and Alligator Sauce Piquant.  Included in your adventure is Cajun music, magic, dancers and fortune tellers.  Laissez les bon temps rouler!



Roadhouse Winery

Join Roadhouse as we roll back the decades to the 70’s & 80’s with our fully equipped Disco! The Fog billows between the barrels the music thumps and the Disco lights flash to the classics from our local DJ! Put on your dancing shoes jump on the stage and sample our lineup of Gold Medal 90+ point Pinot Noirs, Dry Creek Zin & Cab along with gourmet Mac & Cheese . You Should Be Dancing!  Open Late!



Malm Cellars

Come join us as we celebrate another great year with passport. Bring your cowboy boots and a big appetite as we fire up the grill just outside the Healdsburg square. With a live country band playing enjoy some great wine and good old fashioned bbq.



Blanchard Family Wines

Take a trip back with us to the British Invasion of Rock and Roll, as we welcome Sonoma County’s own, the Pepperland band, as they explore the music of the greatest pop group of all time, the Beatles! We will be pouring our exclusive wines, new releases and even unfinished wines out of the barrel.  And keeping in theme, the wines will pair with delicious British Pub Grub treats.



Any of the above themes seem spark a “don’t miss” in your book? Add them to your virtual planner where you can map out your entire Passport adventure in one place. You can find our virtual itinerary planner here.


To read more about Passport to Dry Creek Valley visit our events page!


There are still a few Prelude to Passport lunches and dinners left – don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to meet your favorite winemakers over a great meal. Learn more here.


Sunday only Passports are sold-out and the remainder of 2-Days are going quickly! Be sure to buy your tickets soon so you don’t miss out on this amazing event! Click here for tickets.

Passport to Dry Creek Valley Raffle

Join us in raising money for the Healdsburg Unified School District! This year we’re hosting a raffle to win amazing prize packages from our Passport wineries

100% of our donated dollars support two programs – training preschool teachers in the Healdsburg Unified School District and supporting Pasitos, which helps Spanish speaking children to be successful in school and provides parents with the tools to help maximize their impact on their children’s education. Last year, we raised more than $20,000 through our fundraising efforts and believe Passport is the perfect gateway to our biggest fans.

Raffle tickets are only $5 for 1 ticket, and $20 for 5 tickets. We’ll select winners on 4/27.

Prize packages feature large format bottles from your favorite wineries, bottles for your cellar and even tasting experiences and are an estimated value of $300! As more wineries donate items to the cause, we will add in more packages to accommodate our raffle demand. You do not need to attend Passport to purchase raffle tickets.

Buy your raffle tickets today!


Check out below for themes from our donating wineries and be sure to schedule a stop during your Passport Weekend:


Forchini Vineyards & Winery

Nothing is better than an Italian experience!  Your travel destination is Italy–welcome to “Under the Forchini Sun!”  In our garden enjoy stunning views and Italian melodies while sipping Papa Nonno, our Tuscan Red.  Chef Muir will serve Cannelloni stuffed with spinach and meat topped with two sauces.  End your Tuscan visit munching glazed chocolate bites, delicious with our Zinfandel and Cabernet.  Special Passport pricing.  Benevenuti a Forchini!


Collier Falls at Family Wineries

Join us for our Four Course Mediterranean Wine & Food Pairing. Zinfandel with Canneli Bean and Rocket Salad (Vegan) – Primitivo with Pasta with Sweet Italian Sausage, Artichokes, Roasted Garlic and Tomatos – Petite Sirah with Rustic Italian Braised Short Ribs – Cabernet Sauvignon with Blackberry Gelato and Collier Falls Raspberry Chocolate Sauce.  More Mediterranean wine selections from our 5 co-op wineries in our tasting room.


Seghesio Family Vineyards             

Get your Passport stamped at Seghesio Family Vineyards where you will be transported to the largest island in the Mediterranean… Sicily!! Just off the toe of Italy’s boot. Celebrate with us in our historic grove with live music, bocce ball, and of course a Sicilian inspired food and wine extravaganza!


Rued Winery                

Step back in time and experience Dry Creek Valley as it once was. The Rued Family invites you to join them in celebrating the rich agricultural history forged by the early settlers. Stroll through our country store, step up to the bar and sip our handcrafted wines, chow down at the cookhouse, tap your toes at the hoedown and enjoy our famous ice cream treats.


Pedroncelli Winery          

Pedroncelli is Bistro 1220 this year. Chef Brian Anderson, Bistro 29, will be creating Brittany-inspired fare to complement our wines. Bistro 29 hearkens to the Finistére, Department 29 in France, and is translated as Land’s End. Pedroncelli hails from the eastern-most area Department 1927 (our founding year). A perfect pairing. Featuring our favorite wines where you’ll enjoy a feast for all five senses!


West Wines

Grab your Passports and cruise back in time to the 60’s. American Graffiti comes to West Wines with fabulous cars, fun clothes, memorable rock ‘n’ roll and more! Savor our European-style wines next to our Certified Sustainable vineyards. Our small family winery specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon, French and Italian style red blends, crisp white Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier and dessert wine.


Comstock Wines 

As our estate vines begin to wake and the growing season begins, Comstock Wines celebrates all that is new this spring with fresh farm-to-table bites paired with special new release wines.  Fantastic food, fabulous wines and new friends – Comstock Wines can’t wait to celebrate spring and share our new winery with you!


Fritz Underground Winery

Ye outlanders are in for a treat.  Follow the bagpipes to the highlands of Dry Creek Valley and Fritz Underground Winery. Hidden away in the hillside of our 112 acre estate is our unique subterranean facility. Join the lads and lassies of the winery clad in their finest tartan as you feast on potato cakes with smoked salmon and herbed creme  fraiche with our Estate Sauvignon Blanc and a hearty beef stew with our  bonnie Estate Zinfandel. Aye. Ye Ken ye don’t want to miss it.


Cast Wines

Take in stunning views from our outdoor tasting terrace at one of Dry Creek’s newest wineries. Taste wines hand crafted by Mike Gulyash. We will be pouring our signature Sauvignon Blanc and Estate Grey Palm Zinfandel, followed by our robust 2013 Watson Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel. Pause for a moment in our relaxing setting, an oasis from the hustle and bustle of the day.


A. Rafanelli Winery

Take an early spring picnic with the Rafanelli Family into the countryside of Umbria.  Here you can “Pic Nic a Trevi” where  the olive and olive growing traditions are celebrated in this hillside town.  Delight in this spring time festival that fuses the flavors of olives and herbs with local foods.   Enjoy Italian inspired dishes prepared with our own olive oils and deliciously paired with our new wines.


Wilson Winery

Get your passport stamped at Wilson Winery as you travel to New Orleans for Mardi Gras!  Join the Wilson Krewe led by our Queen of Carnival, Diane, in a parade of gold medal-winning Zinfandels.  The party continues with authentic Cajun cuisine provided by Lisa Boisset of The Cook And The Drummer, and of course, musical entertainment from DJ FizNik Rick.  Laizzez les bons temps rouler!


Kachina Vineyards

Calling all foodies! We are serving up grilled cheesy goodness-Raclette and other specialty cheeses! Blissful days spent creating and perfecting THE best grilled cheesy goodness that pairs with our Bubbly and Cabernet! Unveiling our new Charbono release as well! No foodie experience is complete without dessert! Decadent dark chocolate port-infused truffles paired with out Zinfandel Port. A sweet ending to a foodie experience!


Mauritson Family Winery  

Winemaker Clay Mauritson’s superb Rockpile Zinfandels + chef Charlie Palmer’s sublime cuisine = a weekend of perfect wine and food pairings. Plus, don’t miss the highly anticipated release of our 2014 Charlie Clay Pinot Noir. Want signed bottles? Clay and Charlie will be happy to oblige.


Göpfrich Winery

Visit Göpfrich Winery ! This is one of the few times in the year that we are actually open to the public. We will be pouring our Dry Creek Valley Estate wines which are only available at the winery since there is no outside distribution of our wines. Enjoy the relaxing ambiance of a small family winery. Why not visit a little piece of Germany this weekend!


Nick Goldschmidt’s Salmons Leap Vineyard – Sunday Vineyard Tour

650 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg – begins promptly at 9:30a

Join Yolyn Goldschmidt, owner and president of Goldschmidt Vineyards, along with international winemaker Claudia Del Rio from Chile and Phil Enzenauer, a well-known Dry Creek Valley vineyard manager, for a tour of Salmons Leap Vineyard.

Along with the tour, Vineyard Manager Phil will discuss a variety of topics including establishing and managing vineyards throughout Dry Creek Valley, water shortage issues, the growing lack of farm labor, and the move to sustainable vineyard practices. Phil will talk about pruning on VSP versus split canopy, water usage, best practices during the growing season, the importance of berry size, and how proper viticulture practices can influence berry size.  Winemaker Claudia will compare and contrast grapes grown on this site to similar sites in the Alexander Valley. She will discuss wine differences from the two Sonoma County appellations (Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys) that Nick Goldschmidt and she oversee, and include a tasting of Nick’s wine produced in these appellations. Salmons Leap is one of several vineyards Nick and Yolyn Goldschmidt own throughout the world, giving Claudia a global perspective of viticulture and winemaking. With this view in mind, Claudia will discuss how the team produces the best possible fruit from this vineyard. To conclude, Yolyn will offer a special tasting of other Goldschmidt wines.

To sign up for this international perspective on the Goldschmidt’s Dry Creek Valley vineyards, please RSVP to Karen at [email protected]


Download 2016 Passport Map, Themes & Vineyard Tour Information.


Current prize packages* (each is an estimated $300 value):

#1 – For your collection a 2002 Hillside Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Magnum from Collier Falls, a bottle of Forchini Pinot Noir & a bottle of Rued Sauvignon Blanc.

#2 – A 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel Magnum by Seghesio Family Vineyards, Forchini Cabernet Sauvignon, Rued  Cabernet Sauvignon,  Mother Clone Zinfandel from J. Pedroncelli, a surprise bottle from Kachina Vineyards & a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from Comstock Wines.

#3 – A Magnum of 2013 Three Vineyards Cabernet from J. Pedroncelli, a bottle of Rued Zinfandel, Zinfandel from A. Rafanelli, a surprise bottle from Kachina Vineyards and a box set of 3 Wilson wines.

#4 – A Magnum from Cast Wines, a bottle of Rued Cabernet, Zinfandel from A. Rafanelli, a surprise bottle from Kachina Vineyards and complimentary tasting for 8 people at Fritz Underground Winery.

# 5 – A 2005 West Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Magnum, Rued Zinfandel, mystery bottle from Kachina Vineyards, a bottle of Zinfandel and tasting for 4 from our newest winery Comstock Wines.

#6 – A collectors magnum from Gopfrich of their 2007 Cabernet Reserve, 2 bottles from Kachina Vineyards with complimentary wine and truffle tasting for 4, a bottle Grey Palm Estate Zinfandel from Cast, and a bottle of Forchini’s Beausierra Bordeaux blend.

#7 – A Vineyard Tour Inspired Prize Package: A magnum of Mauritson’s Rockpile Zinfandel, a bottle of West Wines West Crest Cuvee, a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from Cast and a large format bottle of 2011 Cabernet from Forefather’s Wine (Goldschmidt’s Vineyards).

Each prize package is an est. $300 value. Packages may vary slightly and will be updated to include new donations.


Tickets are $5 for 1 ticket and $20 for 5 tickets.

Visit Raffle River to purchase your raffle tickets today!


*Actual Prize Packages may vary slightly from description but will still hold an estimated $300 value.