Dry Creek Valley (AVA)
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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

Current Feature

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Appellation Features

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Cabernet Sauvignon: All hail the King! But a king doth not a gentleman make. A temperamental prince in youth, you’re  [>] continue

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Featured Wines

HomeFire of Sonoma 2006 Zinfandel Rich styles of Zinfandel have a whiff of raspberry in the nose, cedar on the palate and a hint of chocolate in the finish.
buy wine $17.00


Ty Caton Vineyards 2004 Merlot A rich, smooth texture with fruit flavors of cherries and blueberry leading to a vanilla and toasty oak finish.
buy wine $37.00

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Winery sponsors of Appellation America’s coverage of the Dry Creek Valley appellation.