HEALDSBURG, Calif.–()–On this day 40 years ago, California wine pioneer David S. Stare received the necessary permits to build the first new winery in the Dry Creek Valley appellation of Sonoma County following Prohibition.
“But, I have to hand it to him. He was right out there, shoveling grapes and making his wine. That city slicker definitely knew how to work hard!”
Located at the corner of Lambert Bridge Road and Dry Creek Road in the heart of the region, Dave’s vision to build a Loire Valley inspired chateau reawakened this sleepy area of Sonoma County to the possibility of producing fine wines. “Looking back, it’s kind of ironic that Dad’s neighbors didn’t want him building a winery on West Dry Creek Road, as originally planned,” comments second generation President, Kim Stare Wallace. “Having our winery in the heart of our region and easily accessible to visitors makes us the gateway winery to the Dry Creek Valley. It was the best thing that ever happened to us.”
Dry Creek Vineyard has proudly carried on as the region’s namesake winery, waving the flag for the incredible quality of grapes and wines produced in the Dry Creek Valley. “We are so proud of our heritage and history,” comments Stare Wallace. “We were the first winery to plant Sauvignon Blanc in the Dry Creek Valley, we were responsible for our region’s AVA status in 1983, we were the first winery to use the term Meritage on a wine label, and that’s just for starters. I view our winery as one of the true pioneers in California.”
To help celebrate the milestone occasion, the winery has created a video featuring several wine industry icons. Tim Gaiser, a Master Sommelier from San Francisco, says that Dry Creek Vineyard was one of the original wines he worked with during the early 1980s. “The Dry Creek Vineyard Fumé Blanc was one of the first California Sauvignon Blancs I’d ever tasted and I thought it was one of best wine values on the list. In my view, Dry Creek Vineyard has represented the gold standard for quality and value in California wine since their founding.”
Long time grape grower and winemaker, Joe Rochioli remembers selling Sauvignon Blanc grapes to David in those early days. “He was definitely not from around here,” recalls Rochioli with a wry smile. “But, I have to hand it to him. He was right out there, shoveling grapes and making his wine. That city slicker definitely knew how to work hard!”
Now enjoying retirement, the elder Stare says the future of the winery has never been brighter. “With Kim’s leadership, winemaker Tim Bell’s skills and the rest of our talented staff, we’re poised for great things. I see another forty years of family winemaking ahead of us!”
Established in 1972, Dry Creek Vineyard is Dry Creek Valley’s flagship winery located in the heart of Sonoma County, California. As the region’s first new winery following Prohibition, founder David S. Stare paved the way for a viticultural rebirth in this vibrant winegrowing appellation. Among other industry benchmarks, Dry Creek Vineyard is recognized as the first winery to plant Sauvignon Blanc in the Dry Creek Valley. A pioneer of Bordeaux-style blending, the winery was also the first to use the term Meritage with the 1985 vintage and the first to coin the term “Old Vine” to describe pre-Prohibition era Zinfandel vineyards.
In 2012, this premier, family-owned winery celebrates 40 years of winemaking and is led by the second generation. Dave’s daughter, Kim Stare Wallace, serves as President overseeing a successful family winemaking and grape growing business that includes 185 acres of sustainably farmed vineyards. Dry Creek Vineyard proudly produces delicious Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Meritage blends as well as a handful of limited edition single vineyard selections.