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Oct 23,


4 Harvest Terms Explained

1. Brix:

No, this isn’t what the third little pig built his house out of, but rather a scale used to measure the sugar content of grapes and wine. Each degree Brix (˚B) is equivalent to 1 gram of sugar per 100 grams of grape juice. The amount of alcohol that a wine will produce is estimated by multiplying the Brix reading (typically 22-26 degrees Brix at harvest) by 0.55. Therefore, 22˚B will make a wine with about 13.2 percent alcohol.


2. Dry:

Can a wine be wet and dry? Yes – when you are talking like a winemaker. A wine is dry when there is no residual sugar. When grape juice is fermented into wine, alcohol is produced when yeast eats the sugar in the juice. In some cases, a winemaker chooses to stop the fermentation process before the yeast eats all the sugar, leaving the wine a little bit sweet. To make a dry wine, the winemaker will let the fermentation go until the yeast consume all of the sugar.


3. Punchdown:

No, it’s not a new, hip, gym class, it’s actually a technique to keep the fermenting wine and skins mixed up during red wine fermentation. As the wine ferments, the skins rise to the top and form a thick cap. The cap has to be broken up multiple times a day to extract color and flavor, and to prevent the cap from drying out. Winemakers use what looks like a giant potato masher to break up the cap, or in other words, punch it down.


4. Racking:

It may sound like a medieval torture method, but it is really just a way to clarify a wine. Once the solids (skins, yeast cells, etc.) have settled to the bottom, the clear wine on top is transferred to another tank or barrel. This is done throughout fermentation and before bottling as a method of clarification to keep your wine perfectly clear.


Oct 17,



North Bay Fire Relief

Our very heavy hearts continue to go out to each and every one affected by the devastating wildfires in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, and Solano Counties. We are deeply appreciative of the selfless first responders who have worked tirelessly to keep us safe during this unprecedented disaster. We are so proud to be a part of such a loving, united community and have joined the #CAWineStrong effort to restore this beautiful place we call home.

Through the end of November, for every bottle of wine we sell in our tasting room we will donate $1 to fire relief.

All proceeds will be split among the following:

You can learn more about other wineries who are participating at www.cawinestrong.com.

Together we are #CAWineStrong.


Oct 13,


North Bay Fire Update


Thank you for all of your thoughts, prayers and messages during these devastating wildfires. We extend our greatest sympathy and thoughts to those who have suffered losses and remain threatened by this tragic event.

We are relieved to say that all of the members of our winery family are safe, as are our vineyards and our winery. Our hearts are breaking for those around us who have suffered a different fate. Some of our employees remain under evacuation orders, and we are sad to say that our founder and Kim’s father, David Stare, has lost his home.

Our winemaking team has been working diligently during this difficult time, and nearly all of our fruit had already been brought in before the fires began. We are very impressed with the quality of the 2017 vintage thus far and are extremely optimistic that there will be no adverse effects from the smoke.

We are deeply appreciative of the selfless first responders who have worked tirelessly to keep us safe during this unprecedented disaster. If you are looking for ways to help us rebuild our community and those affected by the fires, please visit: http://www.sonomacounty.com/fire.

We continue to monitor the ongoing situation, and due to the impact of the surrounding areas, shipments or communications may be delayed. We ask for your patience at this time and will do our best to keep you updated.



The Dry Creek Vineyard Family


Oct 04,


Dry-Rubbed Salmon Tacos with Tomatillo-Avocado Slaw

Paired with Dry Creek Vineyard 2015 DCV7 Estate Zinfandel - Wallace Ranch


1 TSP ground cumin
1 TSP chili powder
1 TSP brown sugar
¼ TSP finely ground coffee
2 (8 OZ) skinless, center-cut
salmon fillets
6 TBSP sour cream
1 CUP milk
2 TBSP chopped cilantro
2 tomatillos, husked & quartered
1 garlic clove
1 small jalapeño,
seeded & quartered
1 lime, juiced
1 ripe Hass avocado,
halved, peeled & pitted
8 corn tortillas
4 CUPS red & green cabbage (12 oz),
finely shredded

TO SERVE: hot sauce and lime wedges
TO BRUSH: extra-virgin olive oil
TO TASTE: salt and freshly ground pepper



In a small bowl, stir the cumin with the chili powder, brown sugar and coffee. Season generously with salt and pepper. Brush the salmon fillets with olive oil and dredge them in the spice mixture. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, purée the tomatillos with the cilantro, jalapeño and garlic until smooth. Add the sour cream and milk and process until smooth, then add the avocado and lime juice and pulse until creamy. Transfer the dressing to a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the cabbage and toss to coat.

Preheat the oven to 300˚ F. Preheat a grill pan. Lightly brush each tortilla with olive oil. Stack the tortillas and wrap them in foil. Bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush the grill pan with olive oil and grill the salmon fillets over high heat, turning once, until nearly cooked through, 8 to 9 minutes.

Transfer the salmon to a plate and flake with a fork. Fill the tortillas with the salmon. Top with the cabbage slaw and serve right away with hot sauce and lime wedges.

Serves 4.

Click here for a downloadable recipe card.


Aug 01,


5 Tips To Host A Wine Tasting Party

Everyone loves wine, and everyone loves a party, so why not combine the two? Here are our top five tips to guarantee a successful wine tasting party.


1. Pick a Theme

Focus in on what you are trying to do. Of course, everyone wants to have fun, but are you trying to learn about a specific region? Determine the best food pairing? Find the perfect bottle at your local wine shop? This will help determine what wines your partygoers need to bring.

– Variety

Have everyone bring a bottle of the same varietal, but from different regions. For example, compare Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with its counterpart from Napa, Central Coast, Washington or Bordeaux.

– Price

Choose a specific price range and see what new treasures you can find within your budget.

– Region

Choose a specific region (Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California, France, etc.) and taste through several wines unique to that area.

– Random

It’s all for fun anyway!


2. Choose Your Method

– Blind Tasting 

Have a neutral third party put them into paper bags or wrap in foil and label them with a number. If you are going for a more festive and fun atmosphere, taste one at a time, discuss (or argue passionately), then reveal. If you want to take a more serious approach, taste all of the wines while writing notes about aromas, flavors and textures, then discuss and reveal. If you are providing all of the wines, have a trusted wine shop select and wrap the wines for you, so even you are in on the blind!

– Round Robin

Have everyone bring their own wine concealed in a sock, so they know which wine is theirs. Take turns asking one question (make it harder by only asking yes/no questions) until someone can name what the wine/varietal/region is.


3. Find the Wines

Head to your local wine shop first and see what expertise they can lend you. Many times they will give you a pearl of wisdom to make you look extra knowledgeable in front of your friends. If you can’t find what you are looking for locally, turn to online retailers to find the perfect bottle or order directly from a winery and check their website for notes about the vintage.


4. Grab the Extras

– Glasses

Good, clean glasses are important in the tasting process. Avoid detergents with strong odors and have some additional glasses waiting in the wings!

– Spit Cups

It’s very important to taste responsibly, so encourage your guests to spit after tasting and discard any extra wine in the glass. When trying to evaluate wines, less is more!

– Water

Depending on what your theme is, your palate can tire quickly with big, bold reds. Have water on hand to keep hydrated and refreshed between sips.

– Paper

Now that you have discovered new regions/varietals/wines, you need to remember them! Jot down descriptors such as the color, smells and tastes. There is no wrong answer!


5. Don’t Forget the Food!

Set out plenty of bread or crackers while tasting in order to cleanse the palate. Depending on your theme, you could try pairing various foods with the wines to see how they change and react to various components. Common pairings include dark chocolate, salted nuts, dried fruits, and hard or creamy cheeses. Make sure to let your guests know what will be served so that they don’t arrive with empty stomachs if you are only serving light snacks.

All in all, you are combining two of the best things in life: wine and friends! Cheers!