For many years the defining varietal in Dry Creek Valley was Zinfandel-for at least 100 years. This was back when there were no appellations, just grapegrowers carving out a spot for their vineyards. The area known as Dry Creek Valley was always very hospitable to agriculture, the reports go back to the mid 1800s when the land grants were being established and people came to make a living and sustain their families on very fertile land. We went from the top planted varietals in 1883 (just over 800 acres): Zinfandel, Mission, Malvoise (what?), Golden Chasselas (what what?) and White Riesling to these top five planted here today: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. There are many other varieties, almost beyond count, including Rhone and Italian varietals planted along with these well-established grapes. They have all found their niche, being grown on the best hills or valley floor according to the type of grape, the soil below and the climate above. My home valley is still thriving with over 9000 acres of grapes, a handful of orchards, olive trees and home gardens. I’ll toast the bounty with my Dino-join me.
Here's Merlot on our Bench Vineyard, ripe and ready to pick during the 2012 harvest-and in the bottle now!