Dry Creek Valley AVA is at the northernmost tip of the North Sonoma County Wine Country, just outside the trendy town of Healdsburg. A mere 16 miles long and 2 miles wide, Dry Creek Valley is flanked by Dry Creek, a tributary of the Russian River and the Sonoma Dam. In the distance beyond the Sonoma Dam is the coveted Rockpile AVA, perched 800 feet above sea level, home to only 180 acres of Zinfandel, albeit no tasting rooms.
Panoramic views can be enjoyed from the expansive decks at Sbragia Family Winery. Guests are welcome to bring a picnic lunch, or to sample savory cheese plates and light fare prepared by the resident chef designed to pair with the estate Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Or, treat yourself to the guided comparison tasting inside the library room, vetting the Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon to their Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard holdings from Mt. Veeder, Howell Mountain and Yountville.
Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs is not to be missed. The old vine Zinfandel vineyard dates back 115 years and is inter-planted with Petite Sirah, Carignane, a small amount of Mataro (Mourvèdre), and Grenache. The “field blend” varietals are fermented separately to preserve the individual character of the grapes, then artfully joined for the finished blend.
The views from Ridge Vineyards are some of the best in the valley. Experience the Chardonnay, Merlot, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and of course, the Old Vine Zinfandel.
The original Ridge Vineyards Montebello (Santa Cruz Mountains) founded in 1885, is most famous today for their 1971 Ridge Vineyards Montebello Cabernet Sauvignon, which outscored the French wines at the highly touted 1976 Judgment of Paris Wine Tasting competition.