Dry Creek Valley embodies the trends and dichotomies in California wine since the current boom began in the early 1980s. The valley remains a rural setting for small family wineries, yet at the same time it has become home to the Sonoma wing of Gallo, one of the biggest and most industrialized wine producers on earth. Zinfandel was the valley’s top red grape a century ago, and its return to prominence during the last 20 years has put Dry Creek Valley back in the limelight. Only Amador County in the Sierra Foothills is as closely identified with red Zin as Dry Creek Valley is today. (Sauvignon Blanc is the valley’s signature white grape.) Water increasingly rules California’s environmental and agricultural politics, and Dry Creek’s western end is anchored by “Lake Sonoma” -- a reservoir created to ensure a steady supply of fresh water for the vineyards downstream. Finally, Dry Creek Valley is feeling the power of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, the unchallenged ruler and rising star, respectively, of California wine. Both are growing in acreage as Zinfandel peaks. What will the next century bring?
~ Thom Elkjer, Regional Editor
In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.
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Best of Appellation
See the best wines of
Dry Creek Valley
BLUE BOOK PROFILES
Blue Book Taste Profiles for the Dry Creek Valley AVA
Alive & Well here
Zinfandel...You’re a master of disguise. Who is that masked man known as ZIN? You hide behind a mask