Deep in the heart of the Russian River Valley’s west side lies the sleepy Porter Creek Vineyards. Named for the adjacent Porter Creek tributary, which flows into the famed Russian River, this little slice of heaven is certainly worthy of a visit.
Untouched raw beauty surrounds the rustic enclave and old vines, with an array of dogs and chickens meandering about. Porter Creek Vineyards was founded by George Davis in 1977 and was planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay only. Today, Rhone and Burgundian varietals are organically grown on the steep hillsides and son Alex Davis handcrafts the wines in small lots.
The tasting room is both eclectic and funky, with a mesmerizing view of the forest and hills. I visited Porter Creek Vineyards at the 2015 Winter Wineland two-day event and was bowled over by the depth of the wines.
The tasting line-up was impressive indeed, starting with the 2013 Viognier ~ Timbervine Ranch, an explosion of mango, pear and nectar. Chardonnay aficianodos were treated to the 2011 Chardonnay ~ George’s Hill Old Vines and to the coveted reserve 2010 Chardonnay ~ George’s Hills, bursting with lemon and pear with soft toasty vanilla undertones. Lusciousness in a glass!
Part of the fun of the 2015 Winter Wineland festival was that wine makers, such as Alex Davis, were on hand to greet guests and to pour their finest wines! The Reserve 2010 Pinot Noir ~ Hillside Vineyard, was over the top, brimming with intense berry fruit and minerality. And, the 2011 Syrah ~ Timbervine Ranch was nicely executed with green olives and bacon on the nose with an added splash of Viognier to lift the acidity. What a perfect way to start the day! www.portercreekvineyards.com