Seeking the Quintessential Zinfandel

Rebecca Germolus on Apr 16, 2024

If you’re seeking the quintessential Zinfandel, head to Dry Creek Valley, a slice of heaven in Northern Sonoma County. Why visit Dry Creek Valley to find amazing Zinfandel when so many other regions produce good Zins?


Why Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel?

Long-time Dry Creek Valley winegrower Fred Peterson, owner of Peterson Winery, explains, “If you produce wine in Dry Creek Valley and don’t produce at least one Zinfandel, you’re stupid, and if the wine’s not really good, you should quickly and quietly leave the wine business.”


Peterson winery Zinfandels with colorful labels on an empty wine barrel


In other words, the terroir or growing conditions in Dry Creek Valley are perfect for producing exceptional Zinfandel grapes. That’s why the Dry Creek Valley is renowned for delicious Zinfandels. Wineries like Wilson and Mazzocco produce a plethora of different Zinfandels. Wilson’s website listed 34 different Zinfandels, while Mazzocco’s website listed 35 different Zinfandel.

Many of the other wineries in Dry Creek Valley produce more than one Zinfandel as well. I’m not sure any of them produce as many as Wilson or Mazzocco, but I can attest that you won’t be disappointed visiting any tasting room in this Zin-centric region.

Bottles of Wilson of Dry Creek Zinfandel on a bottle; bottles of Mazzocco Zinfandels on a counter


About Dry Creek Valley

Long, narrow, and more compact than the other valleys along the Wine Road, Dry Creek Valley offers breathtaking views from end to end, with wineries worth discovering along every turn. Dry Creek Road wends its way through the eastern side of the valley, while West Dry Creek Road takes a more intimate, meandering parallel path. As you drive down any of this region’s roads, you’ll quickly appreciate the bounty and beauty that attracted the Dry Creek Valley’s first grapegrowers and winemakers.


Panoramic view of a green valley covered with grape vines. Trees and hills that go up into a mountain in the background


During the 1800s, the Italian immigrants who had settled here interplanted their Zinfandel vineyards with other varietals, creating what we now refer to as field-blend wines. Very few of these original vineyards remain, but those early plantings cemented the area’s reputation for producing exceptional Zinfandel. Today, Dry Creek Valley is synonymous with Zinfandel.


Dry Creek Valley Winery Options

Dry Creek Valley is smaller — only 16 long by 2 miles wide — than the other regions, a.k.a. appellations, within the boundaries of the Wine Road. Yet, there are so many excellent winery options to select from when you embark on your tasting adventure.

Here’s a list of some of the wineries you’ll find in the Dry Creek Valley appellation:

A.Rafanelli Winery
aesthete winery & farm
Amista Vineyards
Amphora Winery
Armida Winery
BACA Wines
Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves
Capo Creek Winery
Cast Wines
David Coffaro Vineyard & Winery
De La Montanya Winery
Dry Creek Vineyard
Dutcher Crossing Winery
Kokomo Winery
Martorana Family Winery
Mazzocco Sonoma Winery
Mill Creek Vineyards & Winery
Mounts Family Winery
Orsi Family Vineyards
Papapietro Perry Winery
Pedroncelli Winery
Peterson Winery
Quivira Vineyards
Ridge Vineyards / Lytton Springs
Saini Vineyards
Sbragia Family Vineyards
Seghesio Family Vineyards
Talty Vineyards & Winery
Teldeschi Winery
Trattore Farms Estate Winery
West Wines
Williamson Wines – Yoakim Bridge Estate
Wilson Winery

Kokomo Zinfandel on a wine barrel head with writing on it


Too Much, Just Right

This impressive list of over 30 wineries contains many, if not most, wineries that produce one or more Zinfandels. It will take more than one getaway to visit all of them and sip their delicious wines. Even the folks at Papapietro Perry who specialize in Pinot Noir produce a Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel!

Ripe purple grapes surrounding a bottle of Papapietro Perry Zinfandel that is lying down on the grapes


If you find yourself outside of the Dry Creek Valley, you can still find some awesome Zinfandels. But, if you want to enjoy a Zin-focused tasting weekend, come visit Dry Creek Valley and drink it all it.

Happy Sipping!

Posted by Rebecca Germolus

Rebecca Germolus, co-owner of Maximum Value Marketing, loves Sonoma County and playing along the Wine Road. Rebecca daily immerses herself in wine country by providing cost-effective marketing and writing solutions to wineries and restaurants.

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