Zinfandel Blending Seminar

Learn more about event information Info Learn more about event wineries< Participating Wineries Learn more about event programs Programs

Zinfandel Blending

October 15, 2022

10am – 12pm


Saturday October 15th, join master Zinfandel makers from Dry Creek Valley for this fun, interactive and informative morning of blending…

This is your chance to meet with our host for the morning, Michael Talty from Talty Vineyards & Winery, along with Brandon Lapides, winemaker at Armida Winery and Rick Hutchinson owner and winemaker at Amphora Winery

Each winemaker will coach a table of guests as each person creates their perfect Zinfandel, by blending Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignan into what they feel is a perfectly balanced wine.

Learn from the winemakers what they are looking for in a blend, how they determine what is needed to balance out their blend.

This will be fun and interactive way to start your Saturday tasting adventures.

When all of the blending is complete, you can share your blends with your table mates, to see how yours compares. Then before you leave, our guest winemakers will share one or two of their current vintages for you taste.

This intimate tasting is limited to 20 people.

Tickets are $50 per person, $25 for Wine Road Insiders

(Want to become an Insider? Click here for more info)

Refund Policy

This event is non-refundable.  Refunds will not be issued.


Upcoming Events:

Create Your Own Zinfandel Blend ~ October 15, 2022  10am-12pm
Location: Talty Vineyards, 7127 Dry Creek Rd, Healdsburg
Tickets Go On Sale in September. 

Winemaking 101 with Carol Shelton ~ January 7, 2023 10am-12pm
Location: Carol Shelton Winery, 3354-B, Coffey Ln, Santa Rosa
Tickets Go On Sale in December.

Esprit du Rhone ~ April 2023
Location: Trattore Farms, 7878 Dry Creek Road, Geyserville
Tickets Go On Sale in March.


Friday Night Events

Join us FRIDAY night at the following wineris to kick off Winter Wineland Weekend!



Monday Specials - January 16, 2022

 Join the following wineries for special offers on Monday, January 16, 2022

Talty Vineyards &  Winery – Michael Talty

The Talty winemaking philosophy is simple: wine is made in the vineyard. We vineyard designate each of our Zinfandel because our goal is to exemplify what the land has to offer us, and how it varies from year to year. Once picked, our grapes are fermented by their own natural yeast in small, open-top bins. These bins are punched down four times per day for the best flavor and color extraction possible. The wines are then barrel aged for a year, bottled, then aged for an additional year in the bottle.

You will find an identifiable thread that runs through all of Michael’s wines as they possess an exceptional balance between rich flavor, structure, acidity, and alcohol. These age-able Zinfandels peak at 5-7 years after bottling and will provide you with a remarkable silky and smooth reward for your patience. However, for those of you that can’t wait, they are equally as enjoyable when released.

Our philosophy is to make one wine and do it well. Zin, Just Zin!


Armida Winery – Brandon Lapidas

Born in Ithaca, New York, and raised in California, Brandon’s interest in wine originated with his grandparents. One of their favorite pastimes was visiting wineries, hosting tasting parties, and aging collectable bottles of wine. During Brandon’s upbringing he was invited to enjoy some of these rare wines. “I was always mystified and intrigued by the traditions and stories involved with each bottle of wine,” says Brandon.

Brandon began his winemaking career in 2000, having been accepted into the Fermentation Science program at the University of California at Davis. “Originally, I felt like I had found a loophole. That a public university would teach me how to ferment before I was 21 years old,” joked Brandon. Immediately following graduation and eager to put his education to work, Brandon spent three month working for Brancott Winery in Marlborough, New Zealand, learning the intricacies and brilliance of Sauvignon Blanc. “Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand were the first wines that I fell in love with.”

Returning to the States, Brandon was offered the assistant winemaker position at Peachy Canyon Winery in Paso Robles, CA. Here he worked with Zinfandel from some of the most sought after vineyards on the Central Coast, producing many noteworthy and award winning wines. His success at Peachy Canyon brought him to the attention of Dan Goldfield of Dutton Goldfield winery in the Russian River Valley appellation of Sonoma County, where Brandon served as the assistant winemaker. During his four years at Dutton Goldfield, Brandon mastered cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, producing complex, balanced, and well-structured wines with profound flavor. His experience producing world-class Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel made Brandon the perfect winemaker for Armida Winery, where he’s been making elegant, complex, single-vineyard wines since 2010. “I joke with people that I got my undergrad degree at Davis, my graduate degree from Peachy Canyon, my PHD from Dutton Goldfield and now I’m working on my lifetime masterpiece at Armida having access to fruit from many iconic, well known vineyards.”


Amphora Winery – Rick Hutchinson

A winemaker is often seen as an artist, carefully working with nature to craft a masterpiece with each vintage. For Amphora’s owner and winemaker Rick Hutchinson, art and wine are life-and he pursues each with fervor.

A native of Sonoma County, Rick first became directly involved with wine at a job on the bottling line at the Sebastiani Winery at the tender age of 20. Entering the cellar there for the first time, Rick immediately felt at home, as the aromas of fermentation and wine reminded him of the enticing scents of jams and jellies in his mother’s kitchen during the late summer canning seasons of his youth. Those are aromas he’s been immersed in ever since, and over the ensuing years Rick has continued his apprenticeship in the art and business of winemaking with some of the best talent in the business, including Doug Nalle and John Kongsgaard. Over twenty-some vintages, Rick has grown deeply familiar with the vines and various terroir of Sonoma County, especially the incredible Zinfandel and Petite Sirah of Dry Creek Valley. At the same time, a pottery class Rick joined on a whim uncovered his natural talent for working with clay. Among the projects inspired by his new avocation were a series of original amphorae (clay jars used by ancient Greeks and Romans to store wine) he painstakingly hand-burnished and pit-fired.

2020 Winter WINEland Event Map

Winter WINEland Event Map

Zinfandel Blending – October 15, 2022

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, and wineries worth discovering along every turn. Dry Creek Road wends its way through eastern side of the valley, while West Dry Creek Road takes a more intimate, meandering parallel path. Travelers on either road quickly appreciate the bounty and beauty that attracted the region’s first grape growers and winemakers.

This Valley was deeply seeded during the 1800s by Italian immigrants who 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 Dry Creek Valley is now synonymous with Zinfandel. Most every winery in the Valley makes at least one Zin or more.

As modern grape growing and winemaking practices evolved, other grape varieties were planted. Today Dry Creek Valley is known for not just Zinfandel, but Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rhone varieties like Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignane, and Syrah, and Italian varieties like Sangiovese and Barbera.

Cost is $50 per person ($25 for Insiders) and space is limited to 20 guests. Interested in becoming an Insider? Click here for more details.


Dry Creek Valley History

To learn more about Dry Creek Valley visit: Winegrowers of Dry Creek