These days, it seems like wine tasting events are everywhere across Northern California. Wine Trail this, Wine Road that, pretty much every grape growing region from Marin to Mendocino wants us to come to open house festivals held nearly year-round.
Yet Passport to Dry Creek Valley proudly claims to be the original.
Zinfandel is in many ways California’s most prosperous immigrant – an imported grape of modest origins that made it big in the New World. At the end of its journey to California, Zinfandel found a natural home in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. It’s not a large appellation but Dry Creek claims the highest concentration of first-tier Zinfandel producers of any region in California. Its climate and soils are peculiarly suited to the variety, and now that generations of family farmers have honed their understanding of the grape, it’s clear that Zinfandel is not only the most important grape in Dry Creek Valley’s history, but also the key to its future.
“Wine shouldn’t be pretentious, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be serious about quality,” Nalle says. “We believe in cutting the pretentiousness out but giving people a serious, high-quality wine.”
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