Driving through the scenic Dry Creek Valley AVA reminds me of Tuscany with very similar climate, topography and grape varietals. As a matter of fact, there is a collective of Italian immigrants and wine growers that have settled in Dry Creek for that very reason.
Soft rolling hills and long meandering roads lead to Sbragia Family Vineyards at the far end of Healdsburg’s Dry Creek Road. Climbing up the steep driveway, the panoramic view spans from the Rockpile AVA and Sonoma Dam to the Alexander Valley. Sbragia Family Vineyards is truly one of the prettiest views in all of Northern Sonoma County.
The Sbragia family has deep roots, literally, in Dry Creek Valley, having farmed the area for over 100 years. Grapes are sourced from the family vineyards located in Healdsburg, Alexander, Sonoma and Napa Valleys.
Harvest was in high gear despite the extreme heat, when I visited in early September. The smell of crush was in the air!
To kickstart the tasting, a 2013 Gamble Ranch Chardonnay was poured, which was very representative of a good Sonoma-style Chardonnay. A blend of minerality and stone fruits (peach and pear), a touch of tropical notes (pineapple and mango) on the palate, with a lightly toasted creme brûlée finish.
Cab lovers rejoice! Sbragia’s Cabs are pure bliss ~ exhibiting smoky, earthy, ripe black fruit, aged 20+ months in French Oak. Ahhhh…
Hands down, my favorite was the 2011 Godspeed Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the high altitude vineyards of Napa’s Mt. Vedeer. Deep,inky blue/ purple in color, was redolent with wafts of licorice, roasted herbs, blackcurrant and blackberries.
Sbragia Family Vineyards also handcrafts Merlot and a Zinfandel with lush flavor profiles, both sourced from vineyards in the warmest part of Dry Creek. Lovely wines, magnificent views and friendly tasting room staff make Sbragia a true destination!