Dry Creek Vineyard
Dry Creek Valley's first winery post-prohibition
Founded in 1972 by David Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard was the first winery in Dry Creek Valley after prohibition, and can be credited with bringing Sauvignon Blanc to the region and enabling the rebirth of winemaking in the area. The vineyard has been a pioneer in its field since 1972, and since then has won dozens of awards around the country. When Stare purchased the old prune orchard with hopes of turning it into a vineyard, he did so with fond memories of the Loire Valley in the back of his mind, hence the decision to bring in Sauvignon Blanc even against the advice of many vineyard specialists. Today, you can taste the 2014 Dry Chenin Blanc, an homage to this Loire inspiration. “It’s a wine sommeliers really nerd out about,” says Bill Smart, Director of Marketing for Dry Creek, and also my guide through seven beautiful wines. A favorite was the Fumé Blanc, the wine that started the vineyard and that makes up most of their distribution today. Stare’s mantra was “I believe in providing a wine that over delivers for its price,” and current winemaker Tim Bell holds true to that. The wine I went most crazy for was The Mariner, a premier bordeaux blend of 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, and the rest Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. This wine is part of the Meritage classification, which is by definition“an American expression of excellence for wines blended in the Bordeaux tradition,” or in Smart’s words, “the merit of the grape and the heritage of the wine.”
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