Napa and Sonoma Feature


Dry Creek Valley

If you drive north along Healdsburg Avenue and turn left onto Dry Creek Road, you'll soon feel like you've slipped back in time. Healdsburg looks totally urban in comparison with the pure, unspoiled countryside of Dry Creek Valley. Although the region has become renowned for its wines, it preserves a rural simplicity rarely found in California's Wine Country today. The valley's well-drained, gravelly floor is planted with Chardonnay grapes to the south, where an occasional sea fog creeping in from the Russian River cools the vineyards. Sauvignon Blanc is planted in the north, where the vineyards are warmer. The red decomposed soils of the benchlands bring out the best in Zinfandel—the grape for which Dry Creek has become famous—but they also produce great Cabernet Sauvignon. And these soils seem well suited to such Rhône varieties as Cinsault, Mourvèdre, and Marsanne, which need heat to ripen properly. Wineries within this AVA include Dry Creek, Ferrari-Carano, Preston, Quivira, and Ridge.

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