Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dry Creek Vineyards

We loved exploring the vineyards in the Dry Creek area outside Healdsburg.

Preston Vineyards

We drove straight from the airport to Preston Vineyards, intrigued by the fact that they are a sustainable, working farm as well as a winery. Sure enough, there were chickens, lambs, and goats...

...and apple and olive trees, and gorgeous vineyards.

We had a wonderful picnic enjoying loganberries from their farmstand, local cheese, and the Preston Sauvignon Blanc Heritage 2013.

Arista Winery

Arista's unique setting consisted of a beautiful Japanese garden for strolling and picnicking.

Our favorites here were the Russian River Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and the Banfield Old Vines Zinfandel.

Gracianna Winery

We visited this winery because it is across the street from Arista and has a stellar TripAdvisor rating. It is a small, family-owned winery with few vines of their own. I think we met the entire staff on the afternoon we were there.
We and the local couple we sat with agree that the wines are average and bland. However, the owner Trini has a plan, thus the high profile on TripAdvisor and the nice young kid from Iowa who manages their social media presence.

We noticed that almost all of the wineries do a brisk business in destination weddings, like our friends Bill and Janis attended recently. I'd be happy to attend any wedding in Sonoma County!
Toward closing time, there were about six of us sipping and relaxing when Trini invited us to see their home, which is fairly new. It was obvious that they had an amazing architect and were very involved in the design. It was a first-class, but not over-the-top, residence and we had a lot of fun hearing about his family and the artists whose amazing art was center-stage in the home. The home tour was definitely the highlight of this winery visit!

Sbragia Winery

The day I met Sally in Sonoma, Steve biked along Dry Creek up to Lake Sonoma. He stopped at Sbragia for a tasting and liked the Gamble Ranch Chardonnay. The Dry Creek area is simply gorgeous.