Preston of Dry Creek

Preston of Dry Creek

When you think of wine country often it is a French or Tuscan image that comes to mind.  Preston of Dry Creek takes you back to simple Americana.  It’s located in Dry Creek at the far north end of the Sonoma Valley.  It’s way out and then out a little further.  The entrance takes you down a country road through the vineyards and into the property.  When you arrive you wonder into the courtyard between the farmhouse style buildings.

There are picnic tables and porches and cats (careful not to let them in the tasting room).  Wine is just one of the things they do here.  This is a diversified farm and they grow plenty besides grapes.  In the tasting room you can sample Lou’s breads as well as olives and olive oil.  Across the courtyard you can visit the farm store and find fresh organic produce, artisanal cheeses, sauerkraut, salami, fruit and nuts.  It’s on the honor system, so you weigh the produce and put the money in the jar.

In the tasting room you the atmosphere was like an old time small town general store.  In that I mean, that people knew each other and you were welcomed like a new neighbor.   We heard stories about Lou, the owner and the bread baker, who is always trying something new with his breads which he also takes to the farmers market in Healdsburg.  His big white loaves are popular, but he is always trying to push the new stuff that he likes better.

We tasted the 2010 Madame Preston which is 58% Rousanne, 21% Viognier, 12% Grenache Blanc and 9% Marsanne.  It had apple pie spice to it with a warm nose.  It was a little dry with a thicker mouth feel.  It felt sweet, without being sweet.  Really interesting and nice!

We moved on to the 2009 Barbera which is 100% Barbera.  It was warm and rich, bold and bright with great acid.  It had a very big mouth feel.

The 2009 Zin has 15% Petite Sirah added.  It was peppery on the nose with a long finish and bold fruit.

The 2009 L. Preston is a blend of 55% Syrah, 20% Cinsault, 15% Mourvedre,  5% Carignane &  5% Grenache.  This Rhone blend has a long finish on the bottom of my tongue and with it’s tannins they expect it to age beautifully.

The last thing we tasted was the Syrah-Sirah.  88% Syrah and 12% Petite Sirah.  I loved this wine.  I got herbs on the nose and dark fruit.  Lovely balance.  I am a sucker for a Syrah.  You can drink it now (it’s delicious) or age it for 5-10 because of the Petite Sirah in it!

We visited quite a few wineries in Sonoma and while they were all great, this one felt like it transported me.  Driving back out the long drive I heaved a heavy sigh, like at the end of a great vacation.

Their website is stunning and will have you spell bound and when you get to the winery you won’t want to leave.  I would say it is a simpler life there, except they are so busy with picking and baking and making wine, that that doesn’t seem the right term.  I guess it’s just prioritizing.  They have it right and I secretly want to move there and work for them.

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Robin Renken
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