Grape Girl Guide to Dry Creek Valley Wineries

If you're a Zinfandel fan or appreciate small, family owned and operated wineries, you will fall in love with this charming appellation on the outskirts of Healdsburg in northern Sonoma County.

Dry Creek Valley is my home, so it's safe to say I go wine tasting a LOT here. Grab your wine glass, here are my top five stops to sip and savor in Dry Creek Valley:

Nalle Winery

Nalle Winery is a family run winery, through and through. The winery was started by Doug and Lee Nalle, but their son, Andrew, is now the winemaker, and his rockstar wife and Master of Viticulture graduate, April, can always be found pouring behind the tasting bar. This benchland property has been in Lee's family since 1927 and sustainably farmed for five generations, making it one of the oldest wineries in Dry Creek Valley.

Nalle makes Cabernet and Pinot Noir, but estate-grown, dry farmed Old Vine Zinfandel is their specialty. I love these wines because they're elegant, balanced, and lower in alcohol compared to many other Zins in this region and beyond. The tasting room at Nalle is located in an above ground cave covered in a living roof of rosemary to keep the cellar cool and store wine barrels. They're only open on Saturdays from 12-4:30pm, so I recommend visiting right when they open to taste and enjoy a picnic lunch!

Try this: Dry Creek Valley Flagship Zinfandel

2383 Dry Creek Road

Healdsburg, CA 95448

(707) 433-1040


Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves

Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves is just about as far as you can venture out into Dry Creek Valley, but this hidden gem is well worth the trek. Zinfandel is the name of the game here and in addition to their own estate-grown vines, they produce Zins from the acclaimed Maple Vineyard and Rockpile AVA as well.

Bella offers a variety of experiences, from standard bar tastings to tours of the caves, barrel sampling, blending your own wine, and even a driven tour to the top of Lily Hill to take in vineyard views of the valley. The tasting room is located in the caves themselves, but on a warm, summer day, guests can be found sprawled out on the lawn outside under the shade of old olive trees. This makes Bella an especially kid-friendly spot and walk-ins are always welcome.

Try this: Maple Vineyards Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

9711 West Dry Creek Road

Healdsburg, CA 95448

(707) 473-9171


Reeve Wines

Reeve Wines is the new kid on the block in Dry Creek Valley and I can't say enough how much I adore this beautiful place. Founded by veteran winemaker, Noah Dorrance (formerly of Banshee Wines) and his wife, Kelly, who oversees the hospitality experience, they've created something extraordinarily special with Reeve. The wines are sourced from top vineyards across Sonoma and Mendocino counties, and the lineup includes their much loved Rosé.

Reeve's tasting room is a super chic place to cozy up with Pinot and one of their wool blankets, or you can head outside to soak up some sunshine and pet the goats with a glass of Riesling on a nice day. The experience is relaxed, but the team is five stars and truly cares about showing you a good time. This is my fave wine club membership and whenever I go wine tasting with friends, we go here.

Try this: Ya Moon Pinot Noir

4551 Dry Creek Road

Healdsburg, CA 95448

(707) 235-6345 (by appointment)


A. Rafanelli Winery

A. Rafanelli Winery is quintessential Dry Creek Valley and full of rustic charm. The Rafanelli family has been making wine here since the 1950s and sisters, Stacy and Shelly, run the show today. The winery is tucked in a knoll along 85 acres of sweeping hillside vineyards, and varietals grown include Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Rafanelli's tasting experience is about as no frills as it gets, but it's absolutely authentic to who they are and the reason why this is my husband's #1 favorite winery.

Their wines can only be purchased directly at the winery or by getting on their exclusive mailing list, and reservations book up quickly, so I highly recommend making an appointment in advance. Be sure to explore the caves and snag some olive oil while you're there!

Try this: Zinfandel

4685 West Dry Creek Road

Healdsburg, CA 95448

(707) 433-1385 (by appointment)


Trattore Farms

If you've been seeking out the most stunning view in all of Dry Creek Valley, your search is over because it's located at Trattore Farms. Trattore comes from the Italian word for "tractor" and this 40 acre ranch is covered in rolling vineyards and olive trees. Sustainable farming is a huge priority here and the winery, olive mill, and tasting room are all solar powered.

In addition to creating many delicious wines, such as Zinfandel, Cabernet, and Roussanne, Trattore is also home to the Dry Creek Valley Olive Company, so you can sample a large selection of olive oils after you taste the wines. They imported an entire olive mill from Italy, piece by piece, so you know they're not messing around. Trattore hosts tons of fun tasting experiences, like wine and panini pairings and wood-fired pizzas on Sundays - Next up on my list is the Vineyard, Orchard, and Olive Mill Tour!

Try this: Rootstock Red

7878 Dry Creek Road

Geyserville, CA 95441

(707) 431-7200


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