Insider’s Guide to Dry Creek Valley – Beyond Pinot, there’s Zin!

Zinfandel WIneries In Dry Creek AVA

Dry Creek Valley is a premium wine growing region in northern Sonoma County. It is ideally situated 70 miles north of San Francisco, California and 20 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. Dry Creek Valley has over 70 wineries and is approximately 16 miles long and 2 miles wide. Dry Creek Valley is situated northeast of Healdsburg and south of Lake Sonoma. What makes Healdsburg such a sought after getaway destination in wine country is in a large part due to it being nestled in the center of three world-class wine regions (Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, and Alexander Valley). In addition, it has Michelin-starred restaurants, making it a wine lovers and food connoisseurs perfext destination location.

 

Dr creek map
Photo Credit: Plant Maps

What is Dry Creek Valley known for?

Dry Creek Valley is known for producing world-class wines from a variety of grapes, although this region is most well-known for Zinfandels. This region is a diverse wine growing region with more than 30 different grape varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot producing fine wines that reflect the terroir and the heritage of the valley. For this reason, you will find a wide variety of exceptional wines in this area.

Cabernet Sauvignon, being a more sought-after variety, has sometimes caused grape growers to switch from Zinfandel to Cabernet. However, there are still plenty of Zinfandel vines that can be found in Dry Creek Valley, anywhere from 30 to 100 years old. Imagine these giants in the vineyard, gnarled and twisted but still proudly producing fruit. These vines are an incredible sight to see and to be able savor the stories that they tell with every sip.

Dry Creek ZInfandel
Bud Break

Why should you visit Dry Creek Valley?

Dry Creek Valley AVA has dozens of smaller family-owned wineries, and you will find many hidden gems off the beaten path throughout the valley with picturesque vineyard views.

It is also more laid back, rural, and peaceful and the perfect place to escape to on your trip to wine country. These beautifully twisted head-trained Zinfandel vines are a sight to see as well as sheep roaming in the vineyards. You will find many hidden gems off the beaten path. You will also find that the wine tasting fees are a lot more reasonable compared to Napa and many more wineries are more flexible with food options.

Where should we have lunch on Dry Creek Valley wine tour?

Several wineries in Dry Creek Valley provide food and wine pairings, while others allow you to bring a picnic lunch or bring in outside food. Book with us at Windsor Wine Tours and we can share wineries that allow for you to picnic and bring in outside food, allowing you more time to enjoy what you came to do, sip amazing wine and enjoy your time in wine country!

Dry Creek Food and WIne Experience
Capo Creek Winery

When should you visit Dry Creek Valley?

Dry Creek Valley is an incredible region to visit all year round. They have the yearly event called Dry Creek Valley Passport in April and it is a great time to visit. This three day event showcases Dry Creek Valley and brings in tourists all over the world that have fallen in love with this unique wine region.

What are the best restaurants to eat at near Dry Creek Valley?

With the town of Healdsburg right next to Dry Creek Valley, it’s truly a wine connoisseur and foodie’s dream. SingleTread is in Healdsburg and is a Michelin-starred restaurant that provides in unforgettable fine dining culinary experience. It is in Healdsburg that you will also find Michelin-starred Barn Diva. Cyrus is also a Michelin-starred restaurant in nearby Geyserville that has panoramic vineyard views, that also provides an exceptional fine dining experience.

Other amazing and more laid-back restaurants and bistros for every palate in Healdsburg include Guiso Latin Fusion, Vallette, The Matheson, Willis Seafood, Molti Amici, and Bravas Bar de Tapas.

What is there to do near Dry Creek Valley?

There is plenty of amazing parks such as Riverfront Reginal Park. You are also located near Lake Sonoma where you can do archery or go horseback riding. You can kayak in the Russian River or drive about an hour out to the Sonoma Coast. If you are on the coast, you can rent a kayak and view the harbor seals. If you are more adventurous, you can go ziplining nearby at Sonoma Zipline Adventures. Luther Burbank called Sonoma County the “chosen spot as far as nature is concerned” and we couldn’t agree more!

If you are wanting a more relaxing vacation, there is plenty of shopping in downtown Healdsburg, amazing dining experiences, you can visit the charming town of Geyserville nearby and view the Sculpture Garden or enjoy a relaxing spa day!

What wineries are in Dry Creek Valley?

32 Winds

A Rafanelli

Aldina Vineyards

Amista

Armida

BACA

Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves

Breathless Sparkling Wines

Capo Creek

Cartograph

Cast Wines

Chateau Diana

Coyote Sonoma

Dancing

Davero

David Coffano

Dot Wine

Dry Creek Vineyard

Dutcher Crossing

Emmitt-Scorsone

Teldeschi

Ferrari Carano Vineyards and Winery

Flambreaux Wine

Fritz Winery

Guadagni Family Wines

Kokomo Winery

Lambert Bridge

Martorana Family Winery

Mauritson

Mazzocco

Michel Schlumberger

Mill Creek Vineyards and Winery

MuniClaire Vineyards

Montagne Russe

Mounts Family Winery

Nalle Family Winery

Orsi Family Vineyards

Papapietro Perry

Pasterick Vineyard

Pedroncelli

Pezzi King

Quivira Vineyards

Reeve Vineyards

Rued

Saini Vineyards

Sbragia Family Vineyards

Seghesio Family Vineyards

Selby Winery

Simoncini Vineyards

Smith Story Wine Cellars

Stephen and Walker

Talty Vineyards and Winery

The Harris Gallery

The Setting Wines

Trattore Farms

Van Z Wines

VML Wines

We Know Jack! Rockpile Riff Raff

Windsor WIne Tours SUV

If you are new to Dry Creek Valley, we can help you plan an amazing and unforgettable experience that is custom-tailored to your wine preferences and the experiences you are looking to have. Book with us at Windsor Wine Tours! 

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