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Latest News

 

Apr 08,

2016

Every Cut Counts

Spring brings one of the busiest periods for Dry Creek Vineyard’s field crews. It can be more stressful than harvest in the race to keep up with each stage of rapid vine growth and development. One important step that precedes all that activity is the careful pruning of our grapevines. We recently finished pruning our estate vineyards, just staying ahead of budbreak. Pruning correctly sounds simple, but it takes training and experience to know what old growth to remove and what to leave behind. It sets up a vine for balanced and healthy growth.

The first decision to make in pruning is deciding what spurs or canes to leave behind. It’s a thinking-man’s job: pick the cane in the right position—not too high or too low for the trellis wires—and also one that is the right diameter to support strong, healthy shoots. With our head-trained vineyards it becomes even more challenging to find a cane that is oriented in both a horizontal and vertical plane. Leaving the right number of buds behind is also crucial: too many buds means more work later to remove excess shoots. Too few means too little fruit will develop and the remaining shoots may exhibit excess vigor, shading the fruit too much or leading to the need for other operations like pulling more leaves or cutting back excessive cane growth later.

We’ve made a short video to show the hard work and pride that goes into tending our treasured vines. We have dedicated people like Matt Vogensen and Don Wallace who oversee this important work to make sure that every cut counts.

 

Mar 15,

2016

Dry Creek Vineyard is First to Sign Historic Safe Harbor Agreement with NOAA

Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Sonoma County Water Agency, along with Don Wallace and Dry Creek Vineyard, have signed a first ever agreement assuring continued habitat enhancement and environmental protection of endangered salmon and steelhead along the famed Russian River tributary, Dry Creek. Located directly behind the winery is an enhanced habitat area, the first mile of six that is to be transformed through what is known as the Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement Project. Designed to provide a positive environment for endangered fish species, as well as erosion control, this project is a private/public partnership and has been deemed one of the first of its kind.

As an early supporter of the Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement Project, Don Wallace was fully committed. “My goal at the beginning of my tenure with our family winery has, and continues to be, to leave our land in better condition than which we found it. The salmon in Dry Creek Valley are a crucial measure to the health and vitality of our ecosystem. The Safe Harbor Agreement recognizes the stewardship role played by farmers in helping salmon recovery and provides an incentive to other landowners to participate in restoration efforts while responsibly farming.”

Dry Creek Vineyard’s commitment to sustainability is not new. For decades, we have engaged in environmentally friendly farming practices such as growing cover crops and deficit irrigation to installing bat houses, raptor perches and bee boxes. Solar energy, water conservation, waste conversion and lighting efficiencies have furthered our sustainability efforts. Our leadership in the restoration and protection of endangered fish species along the Dry Creek is just another extension of our commitment to the environment.

In 2015, Dry Creek Vineyard became a 100% Certified Sustainable Winery for both its business practices and vineyards.

 

Jan 26,

2016

Super Bowl 50 to Feature Our Wines!

We are excited to announce that we will be participating in Super Bowl 50’s Fan Village in downtown San Francisco. The Village opens January 30th at Justin Herman Plaza on the Embarcadero and runs through Super Bowl Sunday. From 11am to 8pm in the Taste of Sonoma Wine Lounge, you will be treated to unique flights of Sonoma County wines, including special selections of Dry Creek Vineyard wines. The event kicks off with the official re-lighting of the iconic Bay Bridge and what is sure to be a fabulous fireworks display. So come see us and enjoy a glass of wine as you explore the latest in interactive gaming, social media, music, etc. The live music line-up includes grammy-winning artist Alicia Keys, One Republic, The Band Perry, Matt Nathanson and Chris Isaak. NFL players will also be available for photos and autographs. Our wines will be available for tasting and purchase so you can pair Dry Creek Vineyard wines with your favorite game day snack as you watch the Broncos and the Panthers fight for the Super Bowl championship! For more information on Super Bowl 50 activities, please visit: http://www.sonomacounty.com/SB50.

 

Oct 27,

2015

Bordeaux in the Dry Creek Valley

Located approximately 70 miles north of San Francisco Bay and 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean, lies the Dry Creek Valley. Without a doubt, our region combines the best of cool climate influences and warm California sunshine – the perfect climate for grape growing. It has been said that our region most closely mirrors the climate of Bordeaux – a comparison of little known fact.

Often sunnier and warmer up valley and cooler toward the Russian River, the daily heating and cooling cycles provide us grapes that are jammy, rich and ripe with a crisp, fruity and balanced finish. Bordeaux varietal wines, in particular, flourish in the Dry Creek Valley.

Yet another key influence is the soil. Dating back over 3 million years, the Dry Creek Valley is a product of uplifting and folding of Pacific tectonic plates, exposing old marine material. The patchwork quilt of soils and varied growing conditions create an environment that is unlike any other in California. The Bordeaux varietals, grown primarily on the Western slopes of the valley provide us with grapes that are small and intensely flavored. Without a doubt, our region is under the radar – a hidden gem just waiting to be found!

 

Oct 27,

2015

2015 Harvest

Part of what makes winemaking and grape growing so exciting (and sometimes nervy) is that we are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Each year, we have no idea what curveball we are going to encounter – sometimes it’s small issues and other times we have some big problems to address – such as the weather in the 2011 vintage. This year was no different.

A warm winter led to early budbreak, which was a contributing factor to this record-early harvest. The flowering season which occurs in the spring and is a critical step in the growth and development of grape clusters lasted for a long period of time and as a result, the “set” was light – lighter than normal. Entering harvest, we thought we would be picking grapes early but how early – that was the surprise. Our first load of Chenin Blanc arrived in early August and it was fast and furious after that. Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay followed with Zinfandel coming in at the same time. As usual, the Bordeaux varietals were the last to arrive at the winery but by Friday, October 2nd, we were officially done with harvest. A record early finish to be sure! So why the early and light harvest conditions? A number of factors played a role including the spring set but also the persistent drought conditions coupled with three above average vintages in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The vines seemed to say “we’re tired” and with a lack of water, yields were down overall. That said, we are thrilled with the quality grapes we did receive. The flavors are concentrated and several of the wines that have finished fermentation already taste outstanding. We are looking to bottle the 2015 Chenin Blanc and 2015 Sauvignon Blanc before the end of the year!

We are thankful for the cellar team and vineyard crews who did such an incredible job during a challenging and fast paced season. Most importantly, we had a safe crush and now we can look forward to some delicious wines in the coming months and years ahead.