As part of our twentieth wedding anniversary road trip, we spent a day in Dry Creek Valley Wine Country in Sonoma, California. We love the wines being produced in this area of Sonoma. They tend to be big, bold reds. You’ll find Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon among others.
Zinfandel is the most popular varietal in this region. It was the leading grape in the area prior to Prohibition as well. Now that’s some history. We aren’t huge Zinfandel drinkers but we love the all the wine from this area so our taste buds are happy in Dry Creek Valley.
The vineyards in Dry Creek Valley are typically dry-farmed. This means the grape-growers do not use irrigation on the grapes. By not using irrigation, the vines have to work hard to find their own water by growing their roots deep into the soil. This stress results in smaller grapes that are denser and sweeter, which many believe produce higher quality wines. And dry farming saves water too!
To begin our day in Dry Creek Valley, we had a wonderful breakfast at our bed and breakfast Auberge on the Vineyard.
Our host at the Inn suggested that we drive up the mountain to the new Pine Mountain AVA and enjoy the spectacular views of the area from Sky Pine Vineyards. Since we love photographing the beauty of wine country, we thought that was a great idea. We even got to try some fun settings in Steve’s new camera:
While at Sky Pine, we got to try the wine from their BobDog label as well. We even bought a bottle of the 2010 BobDog Mountain Merlot. Great view and good wine too and a super cute winery dog. And the vineyard owners are lovely as well. Definitely check out this beautiful vineyard if you are in the area.
After Sky Pine, we made our way to one of our favorite wineries for a picnic in Dry Creek – Truett-Hurst. This winery has absolutely gorgeous grounds that include a vegetable garden and swift-moving stream by which they have adirondack chairs where you can sit and enjoy a picnic and a glass or bottle of their wine. It’s so relaxing and lovely to sit by the stream. And the tasting room is beautiful too. That day they even had live music.
We enjoyed a glass of their Sauvignon Blanc with our lunch and next went down the street to a winery where we have been members for the past year: Yoakim Bridge Vineyards & Winery. Yoakim is a small, 4-acre vineyard managed by David Cooper and Virginia Morgan. Currently they are featuring four red wines that are indicative of the area – a big, bold Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Merlot and a Cuvee. We love the boutique nature of the winery and the quality wines they are producing. And they pair yummy meatballs with a homemade sauce for each tasting.
While at Yoakim, David suggested we try the wine by Papapietro-Perry. They are just down the street from Yoakim in a little strip mall of other tasting rooms. They are known for their Pinot Noir. We are glad we rounded out our tastings at Papapietro-Perry. Their wine is lovely and refined.
At the end of the day, we headed to the nearby town of Geyserville, where we had dinner at Diavola Pizzeria. Their pizza is a decadent, cheese-laden, bready bit of heaven. And messy too – but that’s what napkins are for!