Dry Creek Vineyards

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Dry Creek Sonoma view

Sonoma County California is considered America’s first wine country, with grapes being planted as early as 1821 by Russian settlers.  California wine country is one of prettiest places on earth and one of my favorite destinations.  The Dry Creek Valley in northern Sonoma County in the town of Healdsburg boasts over seventy wineries, most being family owned and covering sixteen miles of lush vineyards.  The area has one of the densest concentrations of Old Vine Zinfandel in the world.

Dry Creek entrance at gate

Last week, our family was in Sonoma County for a wedding celebration party for my daughter Kara and her husband.  A group of eight family members were invited for a tour and picnic at Dry Creek Vineyards in Healdsburg.  Dry Creek was the first new winery established in Dry Creek Valley after Prohibition.  It was founded in 1972 by David Stare, and his daughter Kim Stare Wallace is the president of the winery.

Dry Creek entrance long view

Dry Creek entrance

We were greeted just inside this door by our tour guide, Ian, who happened to be ready with a bottle of wine!

Dry Creek wine awaiting at entrance

Not a bad way to start, right?  The Dry Chenin Blanc  also turned out to be my favorite of the day.

Dry Creek history photos

Upon entering the front door, there is a large glass case with displays of the vineyard history, photos of how the winery has grown over the past forty years, and many bottles of their glorious wine.

Dry Creek SAG bottle

One of our favorite stories from Ian was when now-president of the winery, daughter Kim Stare Wallace, was invited to a Screen Actor’s Guild Awards party in Los Angeles.  The wine served, she believed, was not up to par with her family wine and she sought out the food and beverage director for the event, who she suggested they should serve her Dry Creek wine instead.  Not only did they agree, but now the SAG awards had their own special bottles.

Dry Creek signed bottle Kings Speech

Dry Creek signed bottle with certificate

Besides The Kings Speech bottle, there are numerous photos of the Hollywood elite who enjoy Dry Creek wines, including Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Tina Fey, Betty White, and my favorite, The Good Wife herself, Julianna Margulies.

Dry Creek SAG photo with Good Wife

We took a short walk to see the beautiful barrels of wine.

Dry Creek barrels long view

Dry Creek barrels up close

Wine awaited us at every turn!

Now it was time to walk the vineyards.  It was a beautiful sunny day and perfect for a stroll between the vines.  Ian guided us to the area and guess what was waiting – more wine!  (This one’s for you, Ms. Zin, aka my friend Madonna!)

Dry Creek wine at vineyard tour

Dry Creek vine view

The gorgeous vines!

Dry Creek vine tree

Dry Creek Ian talking with group

Ian telling us everything we needed to know about the vines, including the fact that sometimes snakes wind themselves around them.  Okay, where’s the wine…

Dry Creek tiny grapes on vine

Before I bolted after hearing about the snakes, I couldn’t resist a couple photos of the beautiful tiny, grapes.

Dry Creek tiny grapes in cluster

Guess where the empty bottle of Zinfandel goes?  Upside down on the post!

Dry Creek upside down bottle in vineyard

Our tour has ended but the fun is far from over.  Ian leads us to a beautiful picnic area of the winery.  Awaiting us is a table decked out in a lovely tablecloth with a basket of food, water, and of course more wine.  Can the day get any better?!

Dry Creek picnic table

The basket contained gourmet sandwiches and salads, all made on the premises.  They were simply divine , along with the incredible wine, of course.  We had the best time chatting more with Ian and enjoying our family time together.

Dry Creek picnic with wine bottles

After our day, we couldn’t stop talking about how much fun we had, and how lucky we were to have had Ian as our guide.  We’ll be back, I’m sure of that.

Be sure and check out the website, and you can also follow Dry Creek on Facebook and Twitter.  The site has so many interesting facts to read and sign up for their newsletter!  Also remember to stock up on Dry Creek wines for your summer parties and celebrations.

Thank you, Dry Creek and Ian, for an adventure we won’t forget.  We’ll see you again.

I’ll drink to that.


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6 Responses to Dry Creek Vineyards

  1. June 2, 2014 at 5:19 am #

    sounds like another great day in the life

    • June 2, 2014 at 8:20 am #

      It was a great family time, and I always learn something new about wine!

  2. June 2, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    As one of the lucky family members who got to share in this wonderful experience, I can only say it was everything Debbie said it was and more. My husband and I enjoyed it immensely. We have already shared a bottle of the Chenin Blanc back in Oklahoma at the lake, of course. After all, Dry Creek Valley wine is for sailors. It says so right on the label. Thanks Debbie and Kristina. Lets do it again!

    • June 2, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

      Yes, again for sure! It was marvelous!

  3. June 2, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    What a fantastic day! Dry Creek makes some of my very favorite wines. They are definitely on my “must visit someday” list. I love the Chenin Blanc and the Zinfandels (thanks for the shout out). I think my very favorite Dry Creek wine is The Mariner. Did you get to taste that one?

    • June 2, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

      Madonna, that sounds familiar, but they gave us so much I can’t remember them all! You would love it there.

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