Experience the best of this Dry Creek Valley Sonoma road trip
Dry Creek Valley is one of the most scenic spots of western Sonoma county and a short drive from Healdsburg. one of the best ways to explore the valley is on a slow road trip through the area and stopping by some of the iconic wineries that dot this gorgeous landscape all the way to the end point at Lake Sonoma. Designated as the Dry Creek Valley AVA in Sonoma County, the area is accessed through Dry Creek Valley road that begins in Healdburg. Dry Creek is a tributary of the Russian River and is approximately 16 miles long with over
Dry Creek Valley, a scenic road trip through Sonoma’s wine country
It always seems like perfect weather early June up in Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County – the promising growth of the area’s famous zinfandel grapes looks like another delicious year for tasting wines in the region. One of the fun things to do in Sonoma is to take a scenic road trip through the area, preferably in a sporty convertible to enjoy all those views of rolling hills and vineyards sprawling all the way to the coastal mountains of West Sonoma County.
I love that these craggy old grape vines are still flourishing on many established vineyards and producing the legendary zinfandel that is predominantly grown and ideal to the Dry Creek topography. Zindfandel has a long history in the valley and is grown on over 2,400 acres throughout the valley dating back over 140 years of grape production in the area (one of the oldest growing areas in Sonoma County). Today almost 9000 acres of fertile grape growing areas produce some of the best zinfandel, cabernet, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, rose and pinot grapes in the valley.
But enough of the data, we are just here to relax, enjoy the sunny weather and hopefully sample some fine wines along the way.
Where is the Dry Creek Valley located?
The Dry Creek Valley is close to the city of Healdsburg in Sonoma County and home to small scale family owned wineries with award winning zinfandel, cabernet and pinot grapes. Located on the western side of Sonoma County, a drive through Dry Creek valley is a nice with scenic vistas, rolling hills and vineyards and fantastic wineries to visit along the way.
From Healdsburg, you take the Dry Creek Valley Road and cross over Highway 101 into the valley and passing through some of the most productive wine regions for the award winning wines grown in the area with approximately 9000 acres of fertile and productive vineyards and around 6o wineries to explore in the region.
Best time of the year to visit the Dry Creek Valley?
Every season brings about some different and special to celebrate in this scenic valley of Northern Sonoma County. Spring time brings wild flower season and the vines finally coming out to develop. Summer brings in fun events and a full calendar of things to do at the various wineries. Fall time brings harvest season, barrel tastings and other fun fall events in the area along with seasonal change of color in the landscape. Winter is quiet and low key but a great time to visit if you don’t want crowds or a reason to celebrate the holidays in wine country.
What’s a road trip without stopping to take a picture at the iconic sign of the Dry Creek area with sprawling vineyards in the background, okay here it is for those that must see the sign and postcard perfect view. I cruise through and endless stream of vineyards with lush vistas of rolling hills and geometric patterns of vines crawling up to the hills in all directions. In Dry Creek, they really take advantage of growing vines in every strategic spot including the foothills in the area to maximize every square acre for grape production although there are spectacular wine caves and even gorgeous Sonoma gardens to explore here at some of the best wineries in the area.
Road trip highlights visiting the Dry Creek area in Northern Sonoma County
Stop at the Dry Creek General Store
The Dry Creek General Store is an iconic crossroads spot to visit, pick up some provisions and enjoy the old country appeal of these old roadside stores that have serviced this area’s population since 1881. Now it is a popular stopping point to get a snack or drink, some picnic or deli fare, they have delicious sandwiches and other chef inspired meals on the menu made to order. Better yet, explore the gardens, shop or just enjoy the old-time venue for what it is and even a fun IG and selfie spot to capture some pictures. Check out the details to visiting here for more information.
Wineries to visit in Dry Creek Valley
There are many wineries to enjoy in the region with unique amenities, gardens and even wine caves to explore. For a full list of wineries to visit in the area, check out this guide here for a reference of the wineries open to the public for tastings or tours.
Green/Eco focused Quivira at Dry Creek Valley
A visit to Quivira winery
I took a detour from Dry Creek Valley Road to visit a well-respected green/eco winery called Quivira – a certified organic and biodynamic winery. I’ve read about all the cool eco focused projects that the winery had implemented for their organic vineyard and operations including: a produce garden, artisan wine production, farm animals, even a steel head spawning ground.
Quivary has some lovely grounds and gardens to explore and you can see many of the fantastic green initiatives that they were pursuing including the solar roof panels, gardens and animal stalls in the gardens.
Biodynamic farming is one of the latest new trends in wine production, creating a new product niche in the competitive wine marketplace. For those who support the development of authentic crafted wines, then biodynamic farming is the most complex terroir focused methodology and is starting to command respect within the industry and to wine connoisseurs. The winery specializes in complex and delicious Zinfandels, Sauvignon Blanc and Rhone varietals grown organically on the property.
To learn more about the process of biodynamic farming of grapes and their practices, visit Quivira’s information page here.
Growing beds at Quivira at Dry Creek Valley
Visit to the gardens and winery at Ferrari Carano Estate
We are continuing the road trip along Dry Creek Valley road to visit the gorgeous estate of Ferrari Carano winery which is close to the end of Dry Creek Valley Road. The estate is simply stunning, resembling a Tuscan villa set on acres of rolling hills and vineyards. But the real gem to this beautiful winery is not only the wines that they produce but the amazing gardens that surround the property and are open to the public to wander and enjoy.
The owners have always been fond of beautiful gardens from their many travels and having an estate with a botanical garden as part of its signature brand brings in a cross spectrum of wine, art and garden lovers to visit the winery and seems to go hand in hand with the milieu of this expansive estate.
Places to stay around West Sonoma County
There are many choices of places to stay around the area from Healdsburg, Russian River to Santa Rosa area, check out the top reviewed places to stay here around Sonoma County.
Check out the best reviewed places to stay around the Healdsburg area here for current prices and reviews
Check out the best reviewed places to stay around the Russian River here for current prices and reviews
Check out the best reviewed places to stay around the Santa Rosa area here for current prices and reviews
Where to eat great food in Healdsburg and Dry Creek
Northern Sonoma county is definitely a foodie zone with some fantastic eating venues all around the area especially in the city of Healdsburg which is the gateway to the Dry Creek Valley.
Whether you visit some of the fabulous farmer’s markets here, pick up some pastries or drop by for a nice and easy breakfast or have a luxurious meal with farm to table appeal, you’ll find the choices quite spectacular here.
Check out this list and directory of local bakeries and restaurants worth visiting and having a fantastic meal in the area when you visit.
Details to visiting the Dry Creek Valley in Northern Sonoma County
For more information to visiting the region, check out the main website here for more information, calendar of events and places of interest in the area to explore.
There are many wine events to celebrate throughout the year in the region, check out the calendar of events here for more information.
The passport experience is one of the favorite times to visit and taste the delicious local wines in the region, check out the passport happenings here for more information to visiting the area.
Have you been to Dry Creek Valley?
Any fun vineyards and other places to interest to share, please do share it in the comment section below, thanks.
The gardens are definitely a must visit to the estate. In the next post I’ll give you an extensive tour of the gardens and visit inside the estate where we can sample some of the fine wines on their tasting menu. Thanks for taking the road trip to Dry Creek Valley, hope you enjoyed the tour – If you enjoyed the post on Dry Creek Valley Sonoma road trip , please do share it with any of the social media buttons below or on the side of the post. Thanks so much.
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