Next on your must-try list (if you haven’t already) are these fantastic Zinfandels from the world famous, Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County, California. With deep layers of jammy complexity, a bouquet of black cherries, plum, brown sugar and dark chocolate, these wines reflect the beautiful terroir in Sonoma County. We recommend creating a bookmark collection called Dry Creek Zin Musts and adding these to your trip planner. Then get ready to enjoy the best of Dry Creek Valley Zins while basking in an unforgettable wine country experience. Cheers!
1. A. Rafanelli
Since the early 1900’s the Rafanelli family has been growing grapes and making wine in the Dry Creek Valley. Four generations later they are still keeping with the tradition, growing premium grapes and producing world class wines. The winery is small, and being family owned and operated, production is limited, with the focus on quality not quantity. The family prides themselves on producing consistently exceptional wines year in and year out, specializing in some of the finest Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.
2. Ridge Vineyards
Their first Zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge. Today, Ridge winery is surrounded by beautiful 115-year-old vines, and stands as one of the most unique sites in all of Sonoma County’s wine country. When you visit, aside from tasting their incredible Zinfandel, take the personalized tour to explore century-old vines, learn the rich history of Ridge Vineyards and the historic Lytton Springs property, and check out their eco-sustainable winemaking facility built of straw bales and vineyard clay.
3. Lambert Bridge
Lambert Bridge Winery sits nestled among redwood forested hills and rolling vineyards, just west of Dry Creek and its namesake trestle bridge. Utmost quality demands exacting, uncompromising methods. Their limited production affords winemaker Jennifer Higgins intimate involvement and full control in every aspect of the farming and winemaking process. They cultivate each individual cluster to restrict yields and achieve optimal flavor concentration, balance and complexity.
4. Gustafson Family Vineyards
Gustafson wines are produced exclusively from grapes grown at the vineyard. The lean, rocky, volcanic soils produce grapes with smaller berries and more intense flavors. Grapes are fermented in open-top bins with a cold soak of several days, manual punch-downs, and extended maceration. When visiting, we recommend the Estate Heritage Tree Zinfandel. Don’t stop at a taste, buy the bottle!
5. Ferrari-Carano Vineyards
Ferrari-Carano’s Zinfandel comes from their Estate Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. Taste their delicious, hand-crafted, award-winning wines in the Villa Fiore or Enoteca Tasting Bars. During your visit to the winery, be sure stroll through the breathtaking gardens and capture photos and memories in this picturesque setting.
While in Dry Creek, be sure to schedule your appointment to taste the amazing Zinfandel produced by winemaker, Bryan Davison. The mission-style architecture of the Estate hearkens to Michel-Schlumberger’s European roots, while honoring the influence of the Spanish in early Californian history.