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Trade E-News


Dec 17,


2014 Harvest Update

With harvest now over but with plenty left to do, we caught up with Winemaker, Tim Bell in the cellar. Tim gave us his thoughts on the 2014 harvest. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation.

“Overall, I am very pleased with the quality of 2014 wines so far. The weather cooperated nicely for the most part. Harvest kicked off on August 12, making this one of the earliest starts in quite some time. I would say we were 7-10 days ahead of where we usually are, and reached a steady flow of fruit into the winery much earlier than normal. In fact, we expected to start harvest even earlier, but the fact that ripening in Sauvignon Blanc proceeded more slowly than expected in this early season was a clue that crop size was going to be larger than normal. Pre-harvest expectations had been that the drought might lower yields. We did not see this come true in Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc or the Bordeaux red varieties. Only Zinfandel crop size was lower than normal this year. Two interesting observations I made were that flavors in Sauvignon Blanc seemed to be peaking earlier than normal this year, relative to sugar ripening. The other interesting observation was that Cabernet Sauvignon wines took longer in the fermenters to develop the desired depth of body and color this year. I was concerned early on about the quality of Cab, but it turned out that I just needed to be more patient, and to continue working the cap longer into fermentations this year to achieve good color and structure. Harvest came to a close on October 11. This was 7-8 days earlier than the previous two harvests. It was a fast and furious pace and the crew worked hard to keep up. I’m proud of what we did this year!”

Thanks Tim!


Dec 17,


90 Point Rock Stars

Our lineup of fantastic Zinfandels has certainly been on a roll of late in the wine press. The scores, especially from the Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, are impressive. Even more exciting is the track record vintage after vintage. We continue our passionate pursuit to produce delicious wines that define the varietal and speak to our home appellation. It’s gratifying to receive this tremendous acknowledgement of the hard work we have put into our vineyards and cellar.

Heritage Vines Zinfandel:
2010 Heritage Vines Zinfandel – 90 points, Wine Spectator
2011 Heritage Vines Zinfandel, 92 points, Editors’ Choice, Wine Enthusiast
2012 Heritage Vines Zinfandel, 90 points, Wine Spectator

Old Vine Zinfandel
2009 Old Vine Zinfandel – 91 points, Wine Enthusiast
2011 Old Vine Zinfandel – 90 points, Robert Parker
2012 Old Vine Zinfandel – 91 points, Editors’ Choice, Wine Enthusiast


Dec 17,


Sustainable Farming

Growing in Harmony with Nature by Don Wallace, Partner

These days, sustainability is a common buzzword in the Dry Creek Valley and beyond. For growers and consumers alike, it’s a good thing that living a sustainable life is a part of our daily lexicon. By adopting more environmentally responsible farming and business practices, we up the odds of survival for our irreplaceable Planet Earth.

Now that Dry Creek Vineyard has officially been recognized as a Certified California Sustainable Winery, it’s important that we educate both consumers and the trade on what it means to be sustainable. At its core, the sustainability movement rests on the principle that we must find new ways to satisfy our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. To put it another way, sustainability is not the destination, sustainability is the journey. Dry Creek Vineyard offers a microcosmic example of this theory. Because we are vitally concerned that our children, Taylor and Spencer, have the choice of following in our footsteps here, we must focus on the long term health of our winery and vineyards and help raise community awareness about the concept of sustainability.

An all encompassing ideal, having a sustainable business is reflected in all aspects of our winery including:
• Cover crops
• Raptor perches
• Deficit irrigation
• Hi-tech pest control using a computerized monitoring station
• Riparian habitat management
• Bat houses
• Barn owl habitat
• Solar power
• Insectary garden and educational vineyard walk
• Fish habitat restoration project

As a result of our commitment to environmental issues, we are deeply involved in determining future sustainable farming policies. Along with other wine industry leaders, we are working to develop clear and realistic guidelines to help our growers embrace the principles of sustainable agriculture. All of us at Dry Creek Vineyard believe it’s important to be good stewards of the land. Our upfront commitment to sustainable farming may be costly and time consuming. But in the long term, it is what’s good for the land and all humankind.


Oct 16,


Dry Creek Vineyard Achieves Certified California Sustainable Winery Designation

Building upon a foundation first established by winery partner Don Wallace in the 1980s, Dry Creek Vineyard has received official recognition as a Certified California Sustainable Winery.

“Dry Creek Vineyard has long been one of Sonoma County’s pioneering wineries,” said Karissa Kruse, President of the Sonoma County Winegrowers.  ”Sonoma County’s winegrowers and vintners put a bold stake in the ground to become the nation’s first 100% sustainable wine region by 2019 and we’re proud that one of our storied, nationally-recognized wineries is leading by example.”

The path toward sustainability at Dry Creek Vineyard began more than 20 years ago with winery partner Don Wallace.  Early on, Don recognized the need to reduce the winery’s carbon footprint through more earth friendly vineyard practices.  ”I am proud of what we have accomplished at the winery,” says Don.  ”From solar power for energy needs, to our comprehensive recycling programs and water reduction plans, this has been a true team effort by all of the winery employees.”

Commenting on the winery’s achievement, Allison Jordan, Executive Director for the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance says that sustainability is an ongoing process that is constantly evolving over time.  ”Certification is a great achievement, requiring a company to not only conduct an annual evaluation of their operations and to meet prerequisites, but also to determine a set of goals based on their region, operation and other factors.  Therefore they can focus their resources on the practices that will make the most difference for their company, the environment and the community, while continually improving year after year.”

President Kim Stare Wallace has seen the results of the winery’s sustainable business practices firsthand. “As a lifelong resident of the Dry Creek Valley, it’s so gratifying to witness improved health and harmony of wildlife and plant life in our region. There’s definitely been a shift that we can attribute to our sustainable farming practices. Don and I have the same vision – leave the winery in a better place for our children and the next generation.”


Sep 22,


2014 Harvest Fair Selects David Stare for his Lifetime Contribution to the Sonoma County Wine Industry

The 2014 Harvest Fair will honor David Stare, founder and owner of Dry Creek Vineyard, for his Lifetime Contribution to the Sonoma County Wine Industry at a September Awards Ceremony. Few people have had as significant an impact on the quality and variety of the wines produced in Sonoma County as David Stare. And few have been as vocal and persistent in spreading the word about the wines being made in the county, putting the region on the global map for world-class wines.

“I was the first who started beating the bushes,” says Stare, “talking about how great Sonoma County wines are and raising awareness of our wines throughout the States and in Europe.” In many ways, Stare is a pioneer. He came west in the late 1960s with little more than a dream, a solid work ethic and determination. He graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and worked for the B&O Railroad for several years, but quickly realized that his true calling was in the wine industry. Inspired by his trips to the Loire Valley in France, Stare’s original plan was to move to France to build his own French chateau. However, after reading about the burgeoning wine industry in California, he knew that coming west to start his winery was the right move to make.

The annual awards ceremony and dinner will be held September 28 at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. The celebration will be open to the public with tickets available at harvestfair.org starting August 18.


Sep 01,


New Release - DCV Estate Block 10 Chardonnay

Chardonnay has had a circuitous route here at Dry Creek Vineyard. In the early days, Dave Stare produced just a small amount from the famed Robert Young vineyard. Then, as the winery grew, so did production. By the late 1990s, we were producing over 30,000 cases of Sonoma County Chardonnay. As the second generation took over the reins of the business, one program we knew needed attention was Chardonnay. In 2003, production was cut to a mere 7,500 cases with all of the grapes coming from the Russian River Valley. Then in 2008, we produced a single vineyard version called Foggy Oaks, dropping the production yet again to 3,500 cases.

With the release of the DCV Estate Block 10, we are now producing just 1,250 cases of Chardonnay from 30 vine rows at the far northeast corner of the vineyard. The 2012 DCV Estate Block 10 Chardonnay continues our aim of producing small lot wines, focused on vineyard and terroir and most importantly, of the highest quality possible. It has taken us almost 15 years to isolate this section of the vineyard which, year in and year out, represents our best Chardonnay. The well draining soils and lower fertility zones provide us fruit that is bright in acid with a well-rounded flavor profile. The rest of the grapes are sold to other well-known producers.

It’s an exciting time at Dry Creek Vineyard. We hope you enjoy this wine and recognize the hard work and effort that have gone into realizing this dream come true.

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