Sustainably Farmed Vineyard   Gustafson Vineyards  Estate Wines Like No Other

Estate Wines

Our wines are produced exclusively from grapes grown at the vineyard. The lean, rocky, volcanic soils produce grapes with smaller berries and more intense flavors. Grapes are fermented in open-top bins with a cold soak of several days, manual punch-downs, and extended maceration. We seek to produce wines that demonstrate a consistent style while reflecting the nuances of every vintage.

Red Wines

2016 Estate Mountain Cuvée Zinfandel

Harvest: September 28th, 2016
Vineyard Block: Old Vineyard
Planted: 2005
Aspect: Steep east-facing slopes
Soil: chunky Hugo Loam
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: St. Peter's Church
Blend: 87.5% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah & 2.5% Syrah
Aging: 15 Months French & American Oak, 35% New
Alcohol: 15.3%
Total Production: 462 Cases
Release Date: Spring 2018
Retail Price: $28.00


Vintage Notes: The 2016 vintage was marked by the return of winter rains to parched regions of California. Heralded as an "El Nino" year, the expectations for significant winter rains were quite high with hopes of breaking the five year drought. Though falling short of lofty expectations, we recorded 58.3 inches of rain at the estate, nearly equaling the last two winters combined. The soaking rains allowed our vines to sleep a little deeper than the previous two years, waking from their winter slumber on February 21st. Bud break was followed by a gentle spring and a cooler-than-usual summer. These cooler conditions allowed the grapes to linger on the vine and soak up the delicious flavors of California sunshine. Harvested at peak maturity, the wines of the 2016 vintage are of excellent quality and a prime example of California winegrowing at its finest.

Winemaking Notes: Our "Old Vineyard" block is an ideal growing spot for Zinfandel. Lightly shaded in the afternoon, this exposure allows for slow ripening and good retention of natural acidity. Our Mountain Cuvée was harvested in the early morning hours of September 28th. The clusters were destemmed and mixed with roughly 10% Petite Sirah and co-fermented to allow for integration in the wine. A slow and steady fermentation produced wonderful complexity to complement the wine's strong backbone of tannin and acidity. The wine was blended post fermentation with 2.5% Syrah to increase complexity and create an immensely approachable and easy drinking wine.

Tasting Notes: A fine expression of our sun-drenched mountain-top reds, the 2016 Mountain Cuvée Zinfandel features aromas of blackcurrant, blueberry, and ripe plums with nuances of toasty vanilla, violets, and toffee. The palate opens with bittersweet chocolate, blackberry jam, and black cherry, melting into a woodsy expression of charcuterie and earth. This balanced Zinfandel features well-structured tannin complemented by bright acidity, making for the perfect pizza or barbecue wine.

2015 Estate Mountain Cuvée Zinfandel

Harvest: September 14th, 2015
Vineyard Block: Old Vineyard
Planted: 2005
Aspect: Steep east-facing slopes
Soil: Chunky Hugo Loam
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: St. Peter's Church
Blend:80% Zinfandel, 20% Petite Sirah
Aging: 15 Months French & American Oak, 35% New
Alcohol: 14.8%
Total Production: 58 Cases
Release Date: Spring 2017
Retail Price: $24.00


Vineyard and Vintage Notes:
The 2015 vintage was the fourth and most brutal year, of the current California drought. An extremely dry and warm winter lead to the earliest bud break in our records, our vines started the growing season on February 10th which is a full month earlier than normal. Warm weather in January and February was followed by a cool spring which delayed flowering and led to poor berry set. The overall effect being a lighter than average crop, this lighter crop, coupled with an early start to the growing season precipitated the earliest harvest on record. The wines of the 2015 vintage will be marked by small production sizes but tremendous quality!

Winemaking & Tasting Notes:
Harvested in early September our Mountain Cuvee was co-fermented with 20% petite Sirah from our East Ridge block. This co-fermentation allowed for the wine to develop complex flavors early on in the aging process. Our 2015 Cuvee opens with notes bright strawberry, ripe Bing cherries, enticing hints of sweet vanilla, and a delicate floral note that contributes to the wine's delightful softness. A wonderful wine for almost any meal our Mountain Cuvee is a "go to" with lamb, pork, and tomato-based pasta dishes, like pizzas & pastas or it goes great will anything on the grill.

2014 Estate Mountain Cuvée Zinfandel

Vineyard Block: Old Vineyard
Planted: 2005
Aspect: Steep east-facing slopes
Soil: chunky Hugo Loam
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: St. Peter's Church
Blend: 80% Zinfandel, 15% Syrah and 5%Petite Sirah
Aging: 14 Months French & American Oak, 33% New
Alcohol: 15.5%
Total Production: 530 Cases
Release Date: Spring 2016
Retail Price: $24.00


Winemaker Notes:
Our "Old Vineyard" block is an ideal growing site for Zinfandel. Lightly shaded in the afternoon, this exposure allows for slow ripening and good retention of natural acidity. Our Mountain Cuvee was harvested in the early morning hours of October 10th. The clusters were destemmed and mixed with roughly 10% Petite Sirah and co-fermented to allow for integration in the wine. A slow and ponderous fermentation produced wonderful complexity to compliment the wine's strong backbone of tannin and acidity. The wine was blended post fermentation with 5% Syrah to increase complexity and create an immediately approachable and easy drinking wine.

Tasting Notes:
Blueberry, Black Cherry, and Cardamom spiciness greets you with good texture and up-front fruit complimented by vanilla and cherry with a classic spicy zin finish. This is an easy-drinking wine with a very soft lingering finish that would pair well with a lighter fare, and tomato based pastas.

2013 Estate Mountain Cuvée Zinfandel

Harvest: October 25, 2013
Vineyard Block: Old Vineyard Block
Planted: 2005
Aspect: Steep east-facing slopes
Soil: chunky Hugo Loam
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: St. Peter's Church
Blend: 80% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah, 5% Syrah
Aging: 14 Months French & American Oak, 35% New
Alcohol: 15.5%
Total Production: 750 cases
Release Date: Spring 2015
Retail Price: $24.00


Vineyard and Vintage Notes:
The Old Vineyard block gets a little more afternoon shade than the other Zin on our Estate, and it's often a bit of a struggle to get it ripe before the fall rains. The 2013 vintage was blessed with very late fall rains that allowed our entire vineyard to get fully ripe before harvest, which is a true luxury in the world of viticulture. The warm days and cool nights helped maintain a healthy acidic balance in the grapes and yielded fruit that was both qualitatively (physiological) and quantitatively (brix) ripe.

Winemaking Notes:
The 11 tons of Zinfandel from our Old Vineyard block was harvested in the early morning and crushed and destemmed shortly after sunrise. It was cold-soaked for 24 hours and then co-fermented with a small amount of Petite Sirah from our Knob Hill block to encourage an early integration between the two varietals. The finished wine spent 14 months in barrel (35% New, 55% American) and was blended with an additional 5% Syrah and 5% Petite Sirah to add complexity and tannin.

Tasting Notes:
The 2013 Cuvee opens with bright strawberry, ripe bing cherries, an enticing hint of sweet vanilla, and a delicate floral note that contributes to the wine's delightful buoyancy. The palate is smooth with soft tannins and an inviting touch of spice, and the finish is clean and pleasantly lingering. These elements combine to create a highly quaffable wine that is sure to be a true crowd-pleaser.

2012 Estate Mountain Cuvée Zinfandel

Harvest: October 20th, 2012
Vineyard Block: Old Vineyard Block
Blend: 75% Zinfandel, 20% Petite Sirah, 5% Syrah
Aging: 16 months French and American Oak, 33% New
Alcohol: 15.5%
Total Production: 840 cases
Release Date: Spring 2014
Retail Price: $24.00


Vineyard and Vintage Notes:
2010 and 2011 were challenging, stressful vintages for Emmett, and he surprised us all by making a selection of fantastic vintages in the face of adversity. But by 2012 he was ready for a cake-walk, and boy, did he get one. The 2012 season started early, and mild weather through bloom, fruit set, and most of the growing season turned out a record harvest—in both quality and quantity, which is quite rare. With a bountiful crop of extremely high quality, this vintage may go down as one of the finest in the post "oh" decade.

Winemaking Notes:
Our Mountain Cuvée is always a Zinfandel-based blend, usually with a decent dose of Petite Sirah for added backbone and color. In 2012, we took the process a step further by co-fermenting our Zin from the Old Vineyard Block with 15% Petite Sirah from our Knob Hill Block. Co-fermentation is a throwback to the old red wine blends of Sonoma County, where all the different grape varietals from a particular vineyard were fermented together and simply called "California Burgundy." We took it a step further by blending in a small amount of Syrah for depth and complexity, producing a vibrant and fruit-forward wine that is the perfect companion for your next dinner party.

Tasting Notes:
The 2012 Cuvée is a delightfully inviting wine, displaying an elegance and balance not usually associated with Zinfandel. The nose opens with bright notes of raspberry and strawberry jam, drifting over a background of blackberry, plum, and semi-sweet chocolate. The wine is smooth and relatively light on the palate, with soft but "perky" tannins and a pleasantly lingering finish. The Cuvée's well-integrated tannins and remarkable balance make it an exceptional food pairing wine, and it shines with lamb, pork, and tomato-based pasta dishes. And just in case you didn't notice, the 2012 Cuvee is by far our largest single bottling to date—a whopping 840 cases. So drink up folks, this one's a biggie.

Awards & Reviews:
- Silver – Sonoma County Harvest Fair Wine Competition, October 2015

2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Harvest: October 24th, 2015
Vineyard Block: Watchtower Vineyard
Planted: 2005
Aspect: Steep east-facing slope
Soil: Josephine Loam
Rootstock: Milliardet ed de Grasset 101-14
Clone: 07, 191, 337
Blend: 77.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 12.5% Petite Verdot
Aging: 28 Months French Oak, 45% New
Alcohol: 14.5%
Total Production: 250 cases
Release Date: Fall 2018
Retail Price: $42.00


Vintage Notes:
The 2015 vintage was the fourth and most brutal year of the California drought. An extremely dry and warm winter led to the earliest bud break in our records. Our vines started the growing season on February 10th, a full month earlier than normal. Warm weather in January and February was followed by a cool spring which delayed flowering and led to poor berry set, the overall effect being a lighter-than -average crop. This lighter crop, coupled with an early start to the growing season, precipitated the earliest harvest on record. The wines of the 2015 vintage will be marked by small production volumes of outstanding quality.

Winemaking Notes:
One upside to the extremely hot and dry summer is that it created nearly perfect growing conditions for our Cabernet Sauvignon. Usually harvested near the end of October, the grapes came in nearly a whole month early on September 24th. Fully mature and packed with dense flavor the grapes looked to be nearly a textbook example of the varietal. Fermented on skins for three weeks to ensure full flavor extraction, this wine has been aged for 28 months in 45% new French oak. A classically bold Cabernet, our 2015 vintage is the perfect pairing for your favorite cut of red meat.

Tasting Notes:
Our 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is made in the classic Bordeaux style, blended with 10% Cabernet Franc and 12.5% Petite Verdot; it is full-bodied on the palate and complimented by a wonderful acidity that makes the fruit really shine through! With a bouquet of bright raspberry, cherry and holiday baking spices reminiscent of nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon, the flavors on the palate are driven by notes of tart cranberry and sweet tobacco. A great addition to any cellar, this Cabernet has rounded, well-balanced tannins, giving this wine the potential to age for another ten plus years.

2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Harvest: October 13th, 2014
Vineyard Block: Watchtower Vineyard
Planted: 2005
Aspect: Steep east-facing slope
Soil: Josephine Loam
Rootstock: Milliardet ed de Grasset 101-14
Clone: 07, 191, 337
Blend: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot
Aging: 26 Months 60% New Oak: 100% French
Alcohol: 14.8%
Total Production: 358 cases
Release Date: Fall 2017
Retail Price: $42.00


Vintage Notes:
The 2014 vintage marked the third year of the ongoing California drought. Lower than average winter rains and above average temperatures created an early start to the growing season with bud break occurring on February 24th. The lack of soaking winter rains was mitigated by well-timed rains in mid- March (10.8 inches) which provided the vines with much needed soil moisture. These spring rains allowed us to maintain our usual watering program and not put extra stress on our wells. Following record crops in the previous two years 2014 was a return to more normal crop sizes. Owing to the early bud break, our harvest was generally two weeks earlier for most varietals. The grapes from the 2014 vintage were of excellent quality and were harvested long before any threat of fall rains. The wines from this vintage are still exhibiting youthful exuberance and should age well for years to come.

Winemaking Notes:
Following our largest ever harvest at the estate, 2014 marked a return to more "normal" vineyard yields. Picked in mid-October the clusters showed classic Cab characteristics matched with firm and pleasant tannins. Breaking from our tradition of using only whole berry fermentation, we put roughly 20% of our Cab berries through the crush rollers to aid tannin extraction. The resulting wine shows dark red fruit notes backed by powerful tannins that linger on the palate. These increased tannins created an opportunity to use a larger amount of new French oak, which softens the tannins and adds depth to the wine.

Tasting Notes:
Our 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon once again delivers that full-bodied complexity we've come to expect out of the Watchtower Vineyard block. Opening with black peppercorn and holiday spices, the nose features secondary aromas of toasted nuts, bell pepper, vanilla, and dark chocolate. The first sip, however, is a full-bodied burst of big, savory flavors. Peppered salami and bell pepper flavors are tempered by nuances of black currant, nutmeg, and tart cranberry. The mouth-watering acidity on this wine balances out the concentrated tannin structure, leaving you thirsty for another sip.

2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Harvest: October 25th, 2013
Vineyard Block: Watchtower Vineyard
Planted: 2005
Aspect: Steep east-facing slope
Soil: Josephine Loam
Rootstock: Milliardet ed de Grasset 101-14
Clone: 07, 191, 337
Blend: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot
Aging: 26 Months French Oak, 45% New
Alcohol: 14.9%
Total Production: 326 cases
Release Date: Fall 2016
Retail Price: $40.00


Winemaking:
The "Watchtower" block of Cabernet Sauvignon is almost always the final harvest from our estate vineyard. Late fall rains in 2013 allowed us leave the fruit on the vine for an extended period of time. This extra hang time favored the creation of dense character and structure in the grapes. The grapes were brought to the winery on October 25th, destemmed into bins and punched down manually over the course of three weeks. A steady and simple fermentation saw the wine go dry in 22 days. Barrel aged for 26 months and blended with 7% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc this wine is an excellent ambassador of the vineyard.

Tasting Notes:
Our 2013 Cabernet is a classic example of the "King of Grapes." The wine exhibits lush dark fruit on the nose, with highlights of coffee and toasted nuts. The palate opens with silky notes of blueberries and spiced chocolate. The finish is elegant but firm with the tannins leaving a pleasant kiss on the tongue. An age worthy wine in every regard this wine will show increased complexity and finesse over the next ten years.

2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Harvest: October 9, 2012
Vineyard Block: Watchtower Vineyard
Planted: 2005
Aspect: Steep east-facing slope
Soil: Josephine Loam
Rootstock: Milliardet ed de Grasset 101-14
Clone: 07, 191, 337
Blend: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
Aging: 24 Months French Oak, 45% New
Alcohol: 14.7%
Total Production: 200 cases
Release Date: Fall 2015
Retail Price: $38.00


Vineyard and Vintage Notes:
The 2012 vintage brought a collective sigh of relief to all of us California growers who had struggled through the 2011 vintage, considered by many to be the most difficult vintage in the past twenty years. 2012 brought a warm summer and nearly perfect growing season that allowed for the rare combination of higher than average yields and excellent quality. We pruned our Cabernet Sauvignon down to one cluster per cane to develop deep vibrant flavors, and our vineyard rewarded us with a beautiful crop characterized by excellent aromatics and a healthy natural acidity.

Winemaking Notes:
The 4.5 tons of beautiful estate fruit was sent through the destemmer to remove the bitter green stems, and the remaining whole berries were crushed into small bins for fermentation. The long, slow fermentation lasted for just over a month and the finished wine spent two years in barrel to help highlight the dark fruit notes. The wine was bottled in March and has been Estate aged for 9 months to soften the well-developed tannins.

Tasting Notes:
The 2012 opens with plush aromatics of classic blackcurrant, dried cranberry, ripe mission figs and toasted pecans. The palate has subtle notes of soft licorice and minty chocolate that are balanced by well-structured graphite and sandalwood, and the tannins are assertive but exceptionally smooth. The 2012 Cab is an extremely pleasant bottle of wine that will show equally well on your table this holiday season or in your cellar for another 8+ years. Perhaps the best of the 2012 vintage.

2016 Estate Cabernet Franc

Harvest: October 6th, 2016
Vineyard Block: South Ridge
Planted: 2005
Aspect: Steep east-facing slope
Soil: Boomer
Rootstock: Richter 110
Clone: 214
Blend: 95% Cabernet Franc, 2.5% Petit Verdot & 2.5% Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging: 16 Months – Mostly Neutral French Oak
Alcohol: 14.8%
Total Production: 98 cases
Release Date: Fall 2018
Retail Price: $45.00


Vintage Notes:
The 2016 vintage was marked by the return of winter rains to parched regions of California. Heralded as an "El Nino" year, the expectations for significant winter rains were quite high with hopes of breaking the five-year drought. Though falling short of lofty expectations, we recorded 58.3 inches of rain at the estate, nearly equaling the last two winters combined. The soaking rains allowed our vines to sleep a little deeper than the previous two years, waking from their winter slumber on February 21st. Bud break was followed by a gentle spring and a cooler-than-usual summer. These cooler conditions allowed the grapes to linger on the vine and soak up the delicious flavors of California sunshine. Harvested at peak maturity, the wines of the 2016 vintage are of excellent quality and a prime example of California winegrowing at its finest.

Winemaking Notes:
A consistently warm summer followed by a cool finish to the growing season allowed our Cabernet Franc to linger in the vineyard until October 6th. The extended time on the vine allowed for the development of darker red fruit notes paired with deeper tannins. Fermented in individual macro-bins with manual punch-downs, this wine enjoyed a steady and clean fermentation. Aged for 16 months in mostly neutral French oak our Cabernet Franc is a wine drinkers dream. Subtle fruitiness on the nose opens to a bright acidity on the palate with velvety tannins on the finish.

Tasting Notes:
The 2016 Cabernet Franc has a bright acidity and bold-grippy tannins, that are sure to mellow-out over time. Our Cabernet Franc is a wine that will age beautifully for 10-15 years in the cellar. Aromas of cranberry and raspberry are layered inside a frame of fresh-tilled earth with a subtle hint of leather. The bouquet is matched by a delicate yet vibrant mouthfeel with a palate defined by notes of cherry-cola, sour cherries, dark chocolate and a slight woodsy note suggestive of cedar trees. We love to pair our Cabernet Franc with grilled fish, lamb and other lighter meats. What's your favorite Cabernet Franc pairing?

2015 Estate Cabernet Franc

Harvest: September 24th, 2015
Vineyard Block: South Ridge
Planted: 2005
Aspect: Steep east-facing slope
Soil: Boomer
Rootstock: Richter 110
Clone: 214
Blend: 100% Cabernet Franc
Aging: 18 Months – 50% New Oak: 100% French
Alcohol: 14.1%
Total Production: 48 cases
Release Date: Fall 2017
Retail Price: $42.00


Vintage Notes:
The 2015 vintage was the fourth, and most brutal, year of the current California drought. An extremely dry and warm winter lead to the earliest bud break on our records, our vines started the growing season on February 10th, a full month earlier than normal. Warm weather in January and February was followed by a cool spring which delayed flowering and led to poor berry set. The overall effect was therefore a lighter-than-average crop. This lighter crop, coupled with an early start to the growing season, precipitated the earliest harvest on record. The wines of the 2015 vintage will be marked by small production volumes of tremendous quality.

Winemaking Notes:
Situated on a southeastern facing slope, our Cabernet Franc block soaks up some of the best sun exposure our estate offers. The extra sunlight and heat from the drought pushed the harvest of this block up nearly a month, coming into the winery on September 24th. Fully matured and loaded with flavors of ripe cherry balanced against lively acidity, it exhibits some classic Cab Franc characteristics. Manually punched down and fermented in half-ton bins, the fermentation was quick and determined with the wine going to barrel on October 14th.

Tasting Notes:
The 2015 Cabernet Franc opens with black pepper, dried tea leaves, and bell pepper over a canvas of ripe cherries and baking spices while subtle notes of leather and plums round out the nose. This is a classic Cabernet Franc in body and is smooth on the tongue with notes of cranberry, raspberry, fresh-tilled earth, and roasted jalapeño leading into a long finish.

2016 Estate Syrah

Harvest: October 7th, 2016
Vineyard Block: Logging Road Block
Planted: 2005
Aspect: Bowl-shaped, with the topmost portion facing north
Soil: Hugo Loam, with pockets of adversarial clay Rootstock: St. George
Clone: 174, 383 & 470
Blend: 97.5% Syrah & 2.5% Petite Sirah
Aging: 18 Months – 40% New Oak: 100% French
Alcohol: 14.9%
Total Production: 120 cases
Release Date: Fall 2018
Retail: $36.00


Vintage Notes:
The 2016 vintage was marked by the return of winter rains to parched regions of California. Heralded as an "El Nino" year, the expectations for significant winter rains were quite high with hopes of breaking the five-year drought. Though falling short of lofty expectations, we recorded 58.3 inches of rain at the estate, nearly equaling the last two winters combined. The soaking rains allowed our vines to sleep a little deeper than the previous two years, waking from their winter slumber on February 21st. Bud break was followed by a gentle spring and a cooler-than-usual summer. These cooler conditions allowed the grapes to linger on the vine and soak up the delicious flavors of California sunshine. Harvested at peak maturity, the wines of the 2016 vintage are of excellent quality and a prime example of California winegrowing at its finest.

Winemaking Notes:
Just under three tons of wonderfully ripe Syrah grapes were brought into the winery on October 7th. A concentrated crop with tremendous potential, the Syrah was fermented to dry over the course of the next three weeks. The resulting wine is a wonderful example of the complexity that high elevation vineyards can create. Dense and fruity on the nose and palate, this wine is best enjoyed with soft flavorful cheese and cured meats.

Tasting Notes:
A true expression of our bold mountain-top reds, our 2016 Syrah is full-bodied and bursting with flavor! This Syrah greets the nose with robust aromas of dried tea leaves, blackcurrant and juicy pomegranate, followed by notes of blueberries, sweet & sour plum-sauce and a hint of molasses on the palate. Finishing with a touch of spice reminiscent of green peppercorn and cloves, this wine is well balanced with smooth tannins than linger on the palate, enticing you to take another sip. Pair a bottle of Gustafson Syrah with rich-smoked meats or anything off the grill.

2015 Estate Syrah

Harvest: September 19th, 2015
Vineyard Block: Logging Road Block
Planted: 2005
Aspect: Bowl-shaped, with the topmost portion facing north
Soil: Hugo Loam, with pockets of adversarial clayv Rootstock: St. George
Clone: 174, 383 & 470
Blend: 92.5% Syrah, 5% Zinfandel, 2.5% Petite Sirah
Aging: 18 Months – 40% New Oak: 100% French
Alcohol: 14.08%
Total Production: 112 cases
Release Date: Fall 2017
Retail: $36.00


Vintage Notes:
The 2015 vintage was the fourth, and most brutal, year of the current California drought. An extremely dry and warm winter lead to the earliest bud break on our records, our vines started the growing season on February 10th, a full month earlier than normal. Warm weather in January and February was followed by a cool spring which delayed flowering and led to poor berry set. The overall effect was therefore a lighter-than-average crop. This lighter crop, coupled with an early start to the growing season, precipitated the earliest harvest on record. The wines of the 2015 vintage will be marked by small production volumes of tremendous quality.

Winemaking Notes:
Following the trend of the 2015 vintage, our Logging Road Block was harvested in the morning hours of September 19th - our first pre-October harvest ever! The lighter-than-average crop resulted in rapid ripening and slightly lower-than-typical acids. The resulting grapes were plush and brimming with lush blueberry and black berry notes. Manually punched down during the three weeks of fermentation, the wine was sent to barrel in mid-October.

Tasting Notes:
This full-bodied Syrah draws you in with initial notes of cured meats, dried herbs, clove, a hint of powdered cocoa, and the delicate muskiness of tobacco leaves. A chewy wine on the palate, our 2015 Syrah bursts with blueberries, black cherries, vanilla, açaí berry and that characteristic earthy leather on the finish. The well-developed tannins give this wine great aging potential, making it a delightful addition to any cellar.

2014 Estate Syrah

Harvest: October 1, 2014
Vineyard Block: Logging Road Block
Planted: 2005
Aspect: Bowl-shaped, with the topmost portion facing almost due north
Soil: Hugo Loam, with pockets of adversarial clay
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: 174, 383 & 470
Blend: 90% Syrah, 5% Petite Sirah, 5% Zinfandel
Aging: 18 Months French and American Oak, 40% New
Alcohol: 14.4%
Total Production: 205 cases
Release Date: Fall 2016
Retail: $34.00


Winemaking:
The 2014 vintage was hurried along by an early bud break and very warm weather through the growing season. The resulting early harvest saw our Syrah grapes come to the winery on October 1st. Picked in the cool early morning the Logging Road Block again showcased it ability to produce the highest quality fruit. Fully mature and brimming with flavors the berries were destemmed to tank and fermented dry in 24 days. After fermentation we barreled the wine for 18 months in a combination American and French oak.

Tasting Notes:
Walking the line between two differing styles our Syrah is a great expression of an "Old World" grape with "New World" stylings. The nose opens with notes of briary blueberry and blackberry with hints of leather and spice. The palate follows suit closely with generous helping of dark fruit surrounded by notes of clove and allspice. The tannins are firm but velvety giving the finish excellent length and a firm grip. Always a wine for the cellar, this wine will show excellently for the next 10 years

2013 Estate Syrah

Harvest: October 8th, 2013
Vineyard Block: Logging Road Block
Planted: 2005
Aspect: Bowl-shaped, with the topmost portion facing almost due north
Soil: Hugo Loam, with pockets of adversarial clay
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: 174, 383 & 470
Blend: 95% Syrah, 5% Petite Sirah
Aging: 18 Months French and American Oak, 40% New
Alcohol: 15%
Total Production: 200 cases
Release Date: Fall 2015
Retail: $32.00


Vineyard and Vintage Notes:
Following in the footsteps of the phenomenal 2012 vintage, 2013 looks to meet or exceed it in almost every way. The year began with an exceptionally early bud break that moved into a mild but warm growing season, where warm days and cool nights were the norm. Aggressive pruning and a fantastic growing season yielded a small but dreamy harvest of fully ripe and physiologically mature fruit. The very late fall rains allowed our grapes to be harvested when we wanted them, not when Mother Nature dictated—a phenomenon that produces happy winemakers and great wines.

Winemaking Notes:
Syrah is one of our smallest lots, and in 2013, the Logging Road Block yielded just over 4 tons of fruit for our Estate Syrah. This tiny crop necessitates the tools of small-scale winemaking: whole berries are fermented in small bins in our cellar, with manual punchdowns for a very gentle extraction of color and tannin. The wine is pressed off the skins at dryness and kept in barrel for 20 months to promote texture and length, and released a full two years after harvest.

Tasting Notes:
The 2013 Estate Syrah opens with classic notes of dried blueberry, soft violet, warm anise, toasted walnut and sweet vanilla. The palate has the characteristic earth and leather we've come to expect from our Estate Syrah, plus an intriguing bittersweet note akin to the dusting of raw cacao powder on a dark chocolate truffle. The warm vintage gave rise to exceptionally bold tannins that will carry this vintage well into the future, and if you're a patient person, I highly recommend adding the 2013 Syrah to your cellar. It's excellent now, but I think the best is yet to come.

2012 Estate Syrah

Harvest: October 20th, 2012
Vineyard Block: Logging Road Block
Planted: 2005
Aspect: Bowl-shaped, with the topmost portion facing almost due north
Soil: Hugo Loam, with pockets of adversarial clay
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: 174, 383 & 470
Blend: 100% Syrah
Aging: 18 Months French and American Oak, 40% New
Alcohol: 15%
Total Production: 150 cases
Release Date: Fall 2013
Retail: $32.00


Vineyard and Vintage Notes:
Our Logging Road block is situated on an eastern facing-slope, with a strand of healthy old madrone trees above it and a couple beautiful redwoods standing sentinel on its eastern flank. The mild aspect and neighboring forest help to protect our Syrah grapes from the afternoon sun, which contributes to the development unique flavors that straddle the broad gap between French "Syrah" and Australian "Shiraz". We help our vines fine-tune these unique characteristics with some particularly aggressive pruning, dropping all but one cluster per cane throughout the entire vineyard.

Winemaking Notes:
Aggressive pruning and a fantastic growing season yielded a dreamy harvest of fully ripe and physiologically mature fruit. Syrah is one of our smallest lots, and it necessitates the tools of small scale winemaking: whole berries are fermented in small bins in our cellar, with manual punchdowns for a very gentle extraction. The wine is pressed off the skins at dryness and kept in barrel for 20 months to promote texture and length, and released a full two years after harvest.

Tasting Notes:
The 2012 Estate Syrah strikes a fantastic balance between the Old World and the New. Our warm California climate brings out the chocolate richness and dark fruit of an Australian Shiraz, but the unique microclimate of our Logging Road block brings out the spice, earth, and faint pepper of a Rhone Syrah. This unique bouquet is bolstered by underlying aromatics of leather and smoked meats, which melt into a particularly voluptuous palate layered with rich oak and notes of clove and spice. The broad finish is conducive to hearty food pairings, and if you're a patient person, perhaps a couple years in the cellar.

2016 Estate Petite Sirah

Harvest: September 27th, 2016
Vineyard Block: East Ridge Block
Planted: 2004
Aspect: Gentle north sloping hillside
Soil:Hugo Loam
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: 03
Blend: 95% Petite Sirah & 5% Zinfandel
Aging: 18 Months – 55% new oak 40% French, 15% American
Alcohol: 14.9%
Total Production: 400 cases
Release Date: Fall 2018
Retail: $32.00


Vintage Notes:
The 2016 vintage was marked by the return of winter rains to parched regions of California. Heralded as an "El Nino" year, the expectations for significant winter rains were quite high with hopes of breaking the five-year drought. Though falling short of lofty expectations, we recorded 58.3 inches of rain at the estate, nearly equaling the last two winters combined. The soaking rains allowed our vines to sleep a little deeper than the previous two years, waking from their winter slumber on February 21st. Bud break was followed by a gentle spring and a cooler-than-usual summer. These cooler conditions allowed the grapes to linger on the vine and soak up the delicious flavors of California sunshine. Harvested at peak maturity, the wines of the 2016 vintage are of excellent quality and a prime example of California winegrowing at its finest.

Winemaking Notes:
Harvested in the cool morning hours of September 27th, our East Ridge Block of Petite Sirah demonstrated classic varietal characteristics. A prolonged end to the growing season allowed the grapes to linger on the vine a bit longer than usual. This extra hang-time imparted additional depth and complexity to the wine. A smooth fermentation with manual punch downs allowed for the vineyard and season to truly express themselves through the wine. Big and bold with dark fruit notes leading to a solid tannic core, this wine pairs well with hearty winter meals and will age in the cellar for at least another ten years.

Tasting Notes:
Our flag-ship Petite Sirah is always a true crowd pleaser and the 2016 vintage is no exception. Consistently praised for high quality and value, our Petite Sirah is full-bodied matched by a beautiful smooth and velvety mouthfeel, with aromas of blackcurrant and violet followed by a touch of clove and sweet tobacco. Favorable growing conditions allowed for a wine with richly layered flavors of blackberry and blueberry alongside notes of toasty hazelnuts and a hint of leather. Our Petite Sirah pairs stunningly with rich braised meats, hearty soups and stews or a big juicy cheese burger.

2015 Estate Petite Sirah

Harvest: September 14th, 2015
Vineyard Block: East Ridge Block
Planted: 2004
Aspect: Gentle north sloping hillside
Soil:Hugo Loam
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: 03
Blend: 100% Petite Sirah
Aging: 18 Months – 55% new oak 40% French, 15% American
Alcohol: 15.2%
Total Production: 221 cases
Release Date: Fall 2017
Retail: $32.00


Vintage Notes:
The 2015 vintage was the fourth, and most brutal, year of the current California drought. An extremely dry and warm winter lead to the earliest bud break on our records, our vines started the growing season on February 10th, a full month earlier than normal. Warm weather in January and February was followed by a cool spring which delayed flowering and led to poor berry set. The overall effect was therefore a lighter-than-average crop. This lighter crop, coupled with an early start to the growing season, precipitated the earliest harvest on record. The wines of the 2015 vintage will be marked by small production volumes of tremendous quality.

Winemaking Notes:
Harvested three full weeks early on September 14th, our petite clusters came to the crush pad fully ripe and tasting delicious. Smaller than average berry and cluster size pushed overall per acre tonnage to the lowest levels ever from our East Ridge site. This small and extremely concentrated harvest exhibited classic qualities of dark plum notes paired with chewy tannins. Following a swift fermentation with daily delestage the wine went dry and was barreled down in early October. Our barreling program was ramped up slightly this year owing to the concentrated nature of the wine and our desire for firm but approachable tannins.

Tasting Notes:
Our 2015 Petite Sirah features a delicately perfumed nose that swirls with notes of toffee, luscious blackberry, bay leaf, and the aromas of a sun-warmed herb garden. For such a full-bodied wine, the 2015 has a welcoming silkiness on the palate thanks to the small amount of Zinfandel in the blend. Flavors of blueberry pie, violets, ripe plums, and forest mushrooms combined with a certain resinous quality make for an opulent wine well-suited to a rich Boeuf Bourguignon, barbecue, or a meaty pasta dish.

2014 Estate Petite Sirah

Harvest: September 23, 2014
Vineyard Block: East Ridge Block
Planted: 2004
Aspect: Gentle north sloping hillside
Soil: Hugo Loam
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: 03
Blend: 90% Petite Sirah, 10% Zinfandel
Aging: 20 Months French and American Oak, 45% New
Alcohol: 15.1%
Total Production: 291 cases
Release Date:Fall 2016
Retail: $30.00


Winemaking:
The 2014 vintage was marked by an early and fast paced harvest. Grapes that were normally harvest in mid-October were ready for the tanks nearly a month early. Our Petite Sirah was no exception coming in three weeks early on the 23rd of September. Fermenting Petite Sirah is a winemakers dream. The process is always steady and deliberate, with the wine going dry in just 18 days. After fermentation the wine was gently pressed to avoid squeezing out any excessive tannins. Placed in a combination of French and American oak the wine was barrel aged for 18 months. An excellent expression of the varietal our Petite is always a crowd pleaser.

Tasting Notes:
Our 2014 Petite Sirah is a classic example of the varietal. Dark rich blueberry notes open on the nose with hints of leather and chocolate. A "full bodied" wine in every way the palate is rich and expressive striking an excellent balance between acidity and tannin structure. This is a wine built for food with grilled meats and rich red pastas being the perfect combination.

2013 Estate Petite Sirah

Harvest: October 9th, 2013
Vineyard Block: East Ridge Block
Planted: 2004
Aspect: Gentle north sloping hillside
Soil: Hugo Loam
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: 03
Blend: 90% Petite Sirah, 10% Zinfandel
Aging:20 Months French and American Oak, 45% New
Alcohol: 14.9%
Total Production: 375 cases
Release Date: Fall 2015
Retail: $28.00


Vineyard and Vintage Notes:
Petite Sirah is has a very tight cluster structure that is extremely susceptible to moisture, and this vulnerability often dictates that we harvest before the onset of the fall rains. The 2013 vintage was blessed with very late fall rains that allowed our entire vineyard to get fully ripe before harvest, which is a true luxury in the world of viticulture. The warm days and cool nights helped maintain a healthy acidic balance in the grapes and yielded fruit that was both qualitatively (physiological; color and flavor) and quantitatively (brix; sugar content) ripe.

Winemaking Notes:
Petite Sirah is our largest vineyard planting, and in 2013, we harvested a healthy 9.3 tons of beautiful fruit from the East Ridge Vineyard. The grapes were gently destemmed and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, with "manual" punchdowns from our pneumatic punchdown device. The finished wine spent 20 months in barrel and was blended with a small component of Zinfandel to heighten its aromatic appeal.

Tasting Notes:
The 2013 Petite Sirah is probably my favorite of the new releases for its exceptional "drink now" appeal. It opens with ripe blackberry, mulled cherry, warm toffee and sweet vanilla wafting over savory notes of sage, leather, molasses and pipe tobacco. The silky palate is far more integrated than one would expect for a young Petite, and it melts into the full tannins and long finish that help put Petite Sirah on the map.

2012 Estate Petite Sirah

Harvest: October 10th, 2012
Vineyard Block: East Ridge Block
Planted: vv 2004
Aspect: Gentle north sloping hillside
Soil: Hugo Loam
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: 03
Blend: 90% Petite Sirah, 10% Zinfandel
Aging: 18 Months French and American Oak, 45% New
Alcohol: 14.9%
Total Production: 400 cases
Release Date: Fall 2014
Retail: $28.00


Vineyard and Vintage Notes:
2010 and 2011 were challenging, stressful vintages for Emmett, and he surprised us all by making a selection of fantastic vintages in the face of adversity. But by 2012 he was ready for a cake-walk, and boy, did he get one. The 2012 season started early, and mild weather through bloom, fruit set, and most of the growing season turned out a record harvest in both quality and quantity, which is quite rare. With a bountiful crop of extremely high quality, this vintage may go down as one of the finest in the post "oh" decade.

Winemaking Notes:
With the right growing season, Petite Sirah really seems to make itself. The grapes have a particularly tight cluster structure that makes them susceptible to disease pressure, but in the absence of moisture, we were able to harvest an unprecedented amount of good, clean fruit for our 2012 Petite. The grapes were gently destemmed and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, with "manual" punchdowns from our pneumatic punchdown device. The finished wine spent 20 months in barrel and was blended with a small component of Zinfandel to heighten its aromatic appeal.

Tasting Notes:
The 2012 is another fantastic Petite, a perfect embodiment of the quality we have come to expect from our estate vineyard. It opens with a concentrated bouquet of chocolate and spice, intriguing notes of licorice and lavender, and the alluring aroma of those tiny little wild blueberries that you can only find on a late summer trip to Maine. The palate is full bodied and all-encompassing, with fresh acidity and a long, well-structured finish.

2016 Heritage Tree Zinfandel

Harvest: September 7th, 2016
Vineyard Block: Heritage Tree
Planted: 2004
Aspect: Gentle east-sloping hillside
Soil: gravelly Josephine Loam
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: St. Peter's Church
Blend: 85% Zinfandel, 12.5% Petite Sirah & 2.5% Syrah
Aging: 16 Months French & American Oak, 45% New
Alcohol: 15.3%
Total Production: 134 Cases
Release Date: Spring 2018
Retail Price: $35.00


Vintage Notes: The 2016 vintage was marked by the return of winter rains to parched regions of California.  Heralded as an "El Nino" year, the expectations for significant winter rains were quite high with hopes of breaking the five year drought.  Though falling short of lofty expectations, we recorded 58.3 inches of rain at the estate, nearly equaling the last two winters combined.  The soaking rains allowed our vines to sleep a little deeper than the previous two years, waking from their winter slumber on February 21st.   Bud break was followed by a gentle spring and a cooler-than-usual summer.  These cooler conditions allowed the grapes to linger on the vine and soak up the delicious flavors of California sunshine.  Harvested at peak maturity, the wines of the 2016 vintage are of excellent quality and a prime example of California winegrowing at its finest. 

Winemaking Notes: Harvested in early September, our Heritage Tree Zinfandel is a classic example of Dry Creek's signature varietal.  Destemmed and crushed to tank within a few hours of harvest, the grapes were cold soaked for five days to extract additional color and flavor from the skins.  A short but determined fermentation saw the wine go dry in just 16 days.  Lightly pressed to barrel after fermentation, the wine was aged for 16 months on a combination of French and American oak, 45% new.  Blended with a healthy dose of Petite Sirah (12.5%) for increased structure, this wine displays lovely balance and a lingering finish.

Tasting Notes: This Zinfandel once again expresses the best of the Heritage Tree block. Briary and musky aromas of cedar, blackberry, caramel, and cloves swirl over blackstrap molasses, raspberry, and bright cherry on the nose. This Zinfandel delivers black currant and black pepper on the palate with notes of sage, dried tea leaves, and leather leading to a nutty finish reminiscent of toasted walnuts. The grippy tannin balanced by its fresh acidity makes our Heritage Tree Zinfandel a perfect wine to pair with hearty tomato-based dishes and anything off the grill.

2015 Heritage Tree Zinfandel

Harvest: August 28th, 2015
Vineyard Block: Heritage Tree
Planted: 2004
Aspect: Gentle east-sloping hillside
Soil: gravelly Josephine Loam
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: St. Peter's Church
Blend: 95% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah
Aging: 16 Months French & American Oak, 45% New
Alcohol: 15.8%
Total Production: 97 Cases
Release Date: Spring 2017
Retail Price: $32.00


Vineyard and Vintage Notes:
The 2015 vintage was the fourth and most brutal year, of the current California drought. An extremely dry and warm winter lead to the earliest bud break in our records, our vines started the growing season on February 10th which is a full month earlier than normal. Warm weather in January and February was followed by a cool spring which delayed flowering and led to poor berry set. The overall effect being a lighter than average crop, this lighter crop, coupled with an early start to the growing season precipitated the earliest harvest on record. The wines of the 2015 vintage will be marked by small production sizes but tremendous quality!

Winemaking & Tasting Notes:
The 2015 vintage was our earliest on record with many of the grapes being pick a full month ahead of average. Harvested in the warm summer day of August the grapes from our Heritage Tree block were brimming with flavor. Fermented on skins for three weeks the wine was barreled down just as fall began at the end of September. Our Heritage Tree Zinfandel is a classic example of Dry Creek Zinfandel; opening with juicy notes of wild berry bramble, sweet nutmeg, spiced cherries, vanilla, and toasted almonds. This wine pairs beautifully with full bodied meat dishes and rich tomato-based pastas and is an excellent choice for summer BBQ's and any food straight off the grill.

2014 Heritage Tree Zinfandel

Harvest: September 19, 2014
Vineyard Block: Heritage Tree
Planted: 2004
Aspect: Gentle east-sloping hillside
Soil: gravelly Josephine Loam
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: St. Peter's Church
Blend: 97.5% Zinfandel, 2.5% Petite Sirah
Aging: 16 Months French & American Oak, 45% New
Alcohol: 15.7%
Total Production: 170 Cases
Release Date: Spring 2016
Retail Price: $32.00


Winemaking Notes:
Early bud break and a warmer than average growing season lead to rapidly maturing grapes. Harvested in mid-September, our Heritage Tree Zin is a classic example of Dry Creek's signature varietal. Destemmed and crushed to tank within a few hours of harvest, the grapes were cold soaked for 5 days to extract additional color and flavor from the skins. A short but determined fermentation saw the wine go dry in just 16 days. Lightly pressed to barrel after fermentation the wine was aged for 16 months on a combination of French and American oak, 35% new. Blended with a small amount (2.5%) of Petite Sirah for increased structure this wine displays lovely balance and a lingering finish.

Tasting Notes:
The nose leans toward floral notes of cinnamon, cherries, and spice. You will find a strong mouth feel with a well-balanced palate displaying a subtle graham crackery crust structure and American oak finish with the classic jamminess of a traditional zin. This wine finishes with firm but approachable tannin with good acidity to create a lingering and enjoyable finish. This wine is a great choice for meats on the grill and BBQ summer food.

2013 Heritage Tree Zinfandel

Harvest: October 16th, 2013
Vineyard Block: Heritage Tree
Planted: 2004
Aspect: Gentle east-sloping hillside
Soil: gravelly Josephine Loam
Rootstock: St. George
Clone: St. Peter's Church
Blend: 88% Zinfandel, 12% Petite Sirah
Aging: 16 Months French & American Oak, 35% New
Alcohol: 15.7%
Total Production: 450 Cases
Release Date: Spring 2015
Retail Price: $32.00


Vineyard and Vintage Notes:
The 2013 vintage looks to meet or exceed the phenomenal 2012 vintage in almost every way. An exceptionally early bud break and warm growing season gave the vines a few extra weeks to ripen the abundant crop, and that extended hang time helped push our grapes to full physiological ripeness. Warm days and cool nights were the norm, which is wonderful weather for growing grapes, and the very late fall rains allowed us to harvest when we wanted to. We brought in just under 10 tons of beautifully ripe fruit on October 16th, and the superb quality is sure to make this one of our best Zinfandels yet.

Winemaking Notes:
The exceptionally warm growing season created higher than normal brix in our Estate Zinfandel, and abundant sugars are notorious for creating fast, short fermentations. We prefer cool fermentations, especially for Zinfandel, so we crushed and destemmed the grapes into a glycol-jacketed tank to keep the fermentation cool. The wine underwent an initial cold soak and an extended maceration with daily punchdowns, and was aged in a combination of French and American oak (35% new and 25% American) for 16 months. The finished wine was blended with a splash of its best friend, Petite Sirah, and bottled on January 28th, 2015.

Tasting Notes:
The 2013 Heritage Tree is a perfect example of the bold, luscious Zinfandel that put Dry Creek Valley on the map. It opens with bright red cherry, ripe raspberry, and spicy undertones of cinnamon and licorice, painted over an earthy background of dark chocolate, coffee, and molasses. The additional 12% Petite Sirah brings a beautiful weight to the palate and assertive tannins that contribute to the long finish, making this wine a fantastic pairing for tomato-based pastas and red meat.

Awards & Reviews:
- 91 Points – Wine Enthusiast, February 2016

2012 Heritage Tree Zinfandel

Harvest: October 5th, 2012
Vineyard Block: Heritage Tree & Ridge Top Blocks
Blend: 95% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah
Aging: 16 months French and American Oak, 45% New
Alcohol: 15.1%
Total Production: 450 cases
Release Date: Spring 2014
Retail Price: $32.00


Vineyard and Vintage Notes:
Following the 2011 harvest, which was considered by many to be the worst harvest in the past twenty years, the 2012 vintage was a breath of fresh air. A warm summer and nearly perfect growing conditions allowed for the rare combination of higher than average yields and excellent quality. As usual, we selected the two top performing Zinfandel blocks to create the Heritage Tree Zinfandel, and subjected them to additional pruning to develop deeper, more vibrant flavors in the fruit. The season's early start and mild conditions drastically limited the "shrivel" usually associated with Zinfandel, yielding a beautiful crop with excellent aromatics and a healthy natural acidity.

Winemaking Notes:
The usual winemaking philosophy dictates that high yield vineyards and high quality wines are mutually exclusive—hence the drive to limit crop size in premium vineyards-but the fruit from this vintage has challenged that old idiom. With yields averaging over four tons to the acre and wines of superb quality, the 2012 vintage has flown in the face of almost all conventional thinking. So we filled up our fermentation tanks and allowed the wine to take its own course (with strict supervision, of course), and the finished product is a fantastic example of high quality, high elevation, high expectation Sonoma County Zinfandel.

Tasting Notes:
The 2012 Zinfandel is reminiscent of our excellent 2007 vintage, with an elegance and subtlety that is usually reserved for more expensive wines. The 2012 is briary and alluring, opening with juicy notes of wild berry bramble (minus the thorns), sweet nutmeg, spiced cherries, vanilla, and toasted almonds. The tannins are very well integrated, yielding a rich mid-palate and an extra-long finish. This wine stands up to full bodied meat dishes and rich tomato-based pastas, and pairs exceptionally well with chocolate.

2015 Late Harvest Red


Harvest: September 23rd, 2015
Vineyard Block: East Ridge & Heritage Tree
Blend: 80% Petite Sirah, 20% Zinfandel
Aging: 24 Months 100% New French Oak
Alcohol: 17.6%
Residual Sugar: 6.4% (64 grams/Liter)
Total Production: 100 Cases
Release Date: Spring 2018
Retail Price: $26.00


Vintage Notes: The 2015 vintage was the fourth and most brutal year, of the California drought.  An extremely dry and warm winter led to the earliest bud break in our records.  Our vines started the growing season on February 10th, a full month earlier than normal.  Warm weather in January and February was followed by a cool spring which delayed flowering and led to poor berry set, the overall effect being a lighter-than -average crop.  This lighter crop, coupled with an early start to the growing season, precipitated the earliest harvest on record.  The wines of the 2015 vintage will be marked by small production volumes of tremendous quality.       

Winemaking Notes: A smaller-than-average crop in 2015 led to rapid sugar accumulation and quick ripening of our late harvest grapes. Picked on September 23rd, our Late Harvest Red is a blend of Petite Sirah and Zinfandel.  The quick ripening allowed the grapes' sugars to climb into the low 30s °Bx (Brix) which created extremely fruity and rich flavors.  The fermentation was halted at roughly 64 grams/liter (6.4%) sugar with the addition of grape brandy.  The brandy addition raised the alcohol level to create a sweet but not cloying wine.  The wine spent two full years in barrel to round out the palate and create depth on the finish.  Made in the true "Port" style, our Late Harvest is lower in sugar and higher in alcohol, creating a smooth and sippable after dinner treat. 

Tasting Notes: This full-bodied Port-style Late Harvest jumps out of the glass with the enveloping aroma of sweet tobacco and vanilla rounded out by notes of caramel mocha, blueberry pie, and toasted almond. The palate features engaging complexity as the brightly fruit-driven initial flavors of blackberry and huckleberry melt into a secondary wave of savory gingerbread, eucalyptus, toasted cedar, and sweet baking spices. This dessert wine features a phenomenal balance of tannin, acidity, and moderate sweetness with a velvety, polished mouthfeel that leaves one feeling surprisingly refreshed and unsurprisingly yearning for another sip.

2014 Late Harvest Red

Harvest: October 20th, 2014
Vineyard Block: East Ridge & Heritage Tree
Blend: 80% Petite Sirah, 20% Zinfandel
Aging: 24 Months 100% New French Oak
Alcohol: 16.50%
Residual Sugar: 6.4% (64 grams/Liter)
Total Production: 350 Cases
Release Date: Spring 2017
Retail Price: $24.00


Vineyard and Vintage Notes:
The 2014 vintage marked the third year of California's ongoing drought. Lower than average winter rains and above average temperatures created an early start to the growing season with bud break occurring on February 24th. The lack of soaking winter rains was mitigated by well-timed rains in mid- March (10.8 inches) which provided the vines much needed soil moisture. These spring rains allowed us to maintain our usual watering program and not put extra stress on our wells. Following record crops in the previous two years 2014 was a return to more normal crop sizes. Owing to the early bud break our harvest was on average two weeks earlier for most varietals. The grapes from the 2014 vintage were of excellent quality and were harvested long before any threat of fall rains. The wines from this vintage are still exhibiting youthful exuberance and should age well for years to come.

Winemaking & Tasting Notes:
Always our final harvest for the season our dessert wine is pick just after the first day of fall, coming into the winery on October 6th. A blend of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah grapes are crushed and co-fermented to harmonize the flavors. Designed to be sweet the fermentation is stopped with the addition of brandy when the residual sugar reaches the desired level, usually around 50 grams per liter. Aged in 100% new oak for 24 months prior to bottling, the wine has a robust texture with a generous helping of toast. Our Late Harvest opens with a bouquet of blueberry pie and blackberry jam, followed by an undercurrent of bittersweet cocoa and brandy-soaked vanilla pods. The beautifully layered mid-palate is rich and velvety without being too syrupy. Usually poured as a digestivo' this wine is the perfect accompaniment to ice cream or chocolates after a decadent meal. Enjoy on cold winter nights, preferably in your slippers near the fire.

2013 Late Harvest Red

Harvest: October 20th, 2013
Vineyard Block: East Ridge & Heritage Tree
Blend: 80% Petite Sirah, 20% Zinfandel
Aging: 24 Months 100% New French Oak
Alcohol: 18.1%
Residual Sugar: 7.9% (79 grams/Liter)
Total Production: 200 Cases
Release Date: Spring 2016
Retail Price: $24.00


Winemaking Notes:
A record crop in 2013 led to slower ripening and prolonged a bountiful harvest. Picked on October 27th, our late harvest red is a blend of Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. The extended hang-time for the grapes allowed brix to climb into the low 30's which created extremely fruity and rich flavors. The fermentation was halted at roughly 80g/l (8%) sugar with the addition of grape brandy. The brandy addition raised the alcohol level in the wine to create a sweet but not so cloying wine. Made in the true "port" style, our late harvest is lower in sugar and higher in alcohol creating a smooth and sip-able after dinner treat.

Tasting Notes:
This wine opens with a nose of raspberry jam & strawberry pie, followed by a touch of vanilla & butterscotch, on the palate with a luxurious mouth feel that is reminiscent of silk and velvet. Our Late Harvest Red ends with a lingering finish of chocolate and crème brulèe, perfect for chilly winter evenings by the fire.

White Wines

2017 Estate Riesling

Harvest: September 25th, 2017  
Vineyard Block: Meadow Ridge
Blend: 100% Riesling
Aging: Fermented & stored in stainless steel, Bottled January 25th, 2018
Alcohol: 13.0%
Residual Sugar: 0.64% (6.4 grams/Liter)
Total Production: 405 Cases
Release Date: Spring 2018
Retail Price: $24.00


Vintage Notes: The 2017 vintage will be most remembered for a return of soaking winter rains to much of the Golden State. The wet, cold (for California!) and lengthy winter saw an accumulation of 109.4 inches of rain fall on our tiny corner of Sonoma County. Our vines enjoyed the cool bath and slumbered into early spring, with the first new buds popping up on March 12th. The growing season was marked by a cool spring and early summer that quickly gave way to one of the hottest Augusts on record. The late season heat spike pushed sugars forward and created a scramble to get grapes off the vine. A hurried harvest followed as most of our estate fruit was harvested in early September, nearly three weeks earlier than average. The wines of the 2017 vintage are fully ripe and will serve as a testament to the power and structure of California winegrowing.

Winemaking Notes: Consistently one of my favorite wines to make, our 2017 Riesling follows in the footprints of our previous vintages with subtle improvements. Harvested on September 25th, the grapes showed an excellent balance of acidity and maturity. Following an overnight soak on skins, the juice was gently pressed and cold fermented for 46 days. The lengthy fermentation allowed for delicate aromatics to develop while preserving the crisp nuance of the wine. Fermentation was stopped with 6.4 grams of sugar remaining. This tiny amount of residual sugar gives the wine a hint of sweetness while allowing the zesty finish to envelop the palate.

Tasting Notes: Notes of white peach and honeydew melon layer themselves over aromas of mandarin, white flowers, and a faint hint of wet slate and petrol, on the nose of this complex 2017 Riesling. On the palate, ripe pear and white nectarine wash over whispers of chamomile, lychee, and fresh herbs with an enveloping mouthfeel. The finish features bright minerality and acidity balanced by a conservative amount of residual sugar that ensures this Riesling is a perfect complement to a variety of spiced dishes.

2016 Estate Riesling

Harvest: September 21st, 2016
Vineyard Block: Meadow Ridge
Planted: 2008
Aspect: Bowl-shaped with gentle slopes toward center
Soil: Boomer Loam with pockets of rich organic matter
Rootstock: Selection Oppenheim 4
Clone: 02, 09 & 12
Blend: 100% Riesling
Aging: Fermented & stored in stainless steel, bottled January 26th, 2017
Alcohol: 13.1%
Residual Sugar: 0.88% (8 grams/Liter)
Total Production: 422 Cases
Release Date: Spring 2017
Retail Price: $20.00


Vineyard and Vintage Notes:
The 2016 vintage was marked by the return of winter rains to dry regions of California. Heralded as an "El Nino" year the expectations for significant winter rains were quite high, with hopes of breaking the 5 year drought. Though falling short of lofty expectations we recorded 58.3 inches of rain at the estate, nearly equaling the last two winters combined. The soaking rains allowed our vines to sleep a little deeper than the previous two years, waking from their winter slumber on February 21st. Bud break was followed by a gentle spring and a cooler than usual summer. These cooler conditions allowed the grapes to linger on the vine and soak up the delicious flavors of California sunshine. Harvested at peak maturity the wines of the 2016 vintage are of excellent quality a prime example of California winegrowing at its finest.

Winemaking and Tasting Notes:
The 2016 Riesling is a classic example of the complexity that can shine though in a wine. Harvested in late September the small clusters were gently destemmed and soaked overnight on skins to draw out more nuanced flavors. Fermented at 52 degrees for almost 6 weeks the wine was allowed to keep a small amount of residual sugar to enhance the palate. Our 2016 Riesling opens with notes of juicy green apple, tangy nectarine, and a hint of floral mandarin, followed by a notes of flinty wet stone and sweet honeysuckle. A wonderful food pairing wine, our Riesling is great with fish and salads, but has the acidity to stand up to spicier foods as well.

2015 Estate Riesling

Harvest: September 10th, 2015
Vineyard Block: Meadow Ridge
Planted: 2008
Aspect: Bowl-shaped with gentle slopes toward center
Soil: Boomer Loam with pockets of rich organic matter
Rootstock: Selection Oppenheim 4
Clone: 02, 09 & 12
Blend: 100% Riesling
Aging: Fermented & Stored in Stainless Steel
Alcohol: 13.1%
Residual Sugar: 0.86% (8.6 gm/L)
Total Production: 390 Cases
Release Date: Spring 2016
Retail Price: $20.00


Winemaker Notes:
Considered a "cool climate" grape, our Riesling was one of the few varietals which did not suffer shatter from the cool wet conditions during flowering. As a result, the yields from this vineyard were closer to average with 7.1 tons harvested in early September. The grapes were crushed and left to sit on skins overnight to extract additional flavors and complexity. Lightly pressed the following day the juice was cold-fermented at 52 degrees for roughly 45 days. At just below 1% sugar the fermentation was stopped by chilling the wine into the low 40s. The wine spent the next three months resting on lees in tank and continuing to collect subtle flavor from contact. Bottled young on January 27th this wine is a showcase of a superb vintage and straight forward but thoughtful winemaking.

Tasting Notes:
The 2015 is a beautiful off-dry Riesling, with just under 1 gram (1%) per liter of residual sugar. The nose opens with Golden Delicious apples, white nectarine and hints of honeysuckle. The palate continues with orange blossom, stone fruit and persimmon followed by a clean and zesty finish that would complement any kind of spicy food. Drunken Noodles, Chicken Tikka Marsala or Hot and Sour Soup anyone?

2017 Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Harvest: August 30th, 2017 
Vineyard Block: Old Sheep Barn Block 
Blend: Field Blend – 97.5% Sauvignon Blanc & 2.5% Riesling
Aging: Fermented in stainless steel, Aged in Neutral French Oak Bottled March 15th, 2018
Alcohol:13.2%
Total Production: 250 Cases
Release Date: Spring 2018
Retail Price: $26.00


Vintage Notes: The 2017 vintage will be most remembered for a return of soaking winter rains to much of the Golden State. The wet, cold (for California!) and lengthy winter saw an accumulation of 109.4 inches of rain fall on our tiny corner of Sonoma County. Our vines enjoyed the cool bath and slumbered into early spring, with the first new buds popping up on March 12th. The growing season was marked by a cool spring and early summer that quickly gave way to one of the hottest Augusts on record. The late season heat spike pushed sugars forward and created a scramble to get grapes off the vine. A hurried harvest followed as most of our estate fruit was harvested in early September, nearly three weeks earlier than average. The wines of the 2017 vintage are fully ripe and will serve as a testament to the power and structure of California winegrowing.

Winemaking Notes: Sonoma County endured a record heat wave over the final weekend of August. Wanting to preserve the delicate nature of the varietal, we harvested our Sauvignon Blanc on August 30th. The hot finish to the season coupled with a lighter-than-average crop led to concentrated flavors while retaining the grape's signature acidity. Hand-harvested and whole-cluster pressed, the juice was cool fermented at roughly 65 degrees. Upon completion of primary fermentation, the wine was racked to neutral oak barrels for 5 months of aging. Finished in stainless steel, this wine is a classic Sauvignon Blanc with bold tropical fruit notes and tingly acidity.

Tasting Notes: Granny Smith apple and lemon zest fairly jump out of the glass with this phenomenal iteration of our Sauvignon Blanc. With a bright nose featuring undertones of white flowers, ripe pineapple and lemon-lime, our 2017 Sauvignon Blanc delivers the ideal summer wine. Notes of yellow nectarine, ripe apricot, Meyer lemon, and pineapple-guava on the palate deliver a clean and crisp finish with all the flavor of zesty, sweet fruit without any of the saccharine quality. Four months in neutral oak have lent this wine a pleasingly round mouthfeel perfectly balanced by the acidity and ultimately creating a glass of wine you'll wish would never end.

2016 Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Harvest: September 15th, 2016
Vineyard Block: Old Sheep Barn Block
Blend: Field Blend – 97.5% Sauvignon Blanc and 2.5% Riesling
Aging: Fermented in stainless steel, aged in French Oak, 20% New, bottled March 23rd, 2017
Alcohol: 13.5%
Total Production: 350 cases
Release Date: Spring 2017
Retail Price: $22.00


Vineyard and Vintage Notes:
The 2016 vintage was marked by the return of winter rains to dry regions of California. Heralded as an "El Nino" year the expectations for significant winter rains were quite high, with hopes of breaking the 5 year drought. Though falling short of lofty expectations we recorded 58.3 inches of rain at the estate, nearly equaling the last two winters combined. The soaking rains allowed our vines to sleep a little deeper than the previous two years, waking from their winter slumber on February 21st. Bud break was followed by a gentle spring and a cooler than usual summer. These cooler conditions allowed the grapes to linger on the vine and soak up the delicious flavors of California sunshine. Harvested at peak maturity the wines of the 2016 vintage are of excellent quality a prime example of California winegrowing at its finest.

Winemaking & Tasting Notes:
Always the first grapes to be harvest at our estate the ripe clusters from our Sheep Barn block arrived on the crush pad at dawn on September 5th. The clusters were lightly squeezed in our basket press extracting the full depth of flavor from the wonderful juice. Fermented in stainless steel and aged 4 months in neutral barrels the wine is an excellent example of classic winemaking techniques. Our 2016 Sauvignon Blanc displays notes of ripe white peaches, with a hint of zesty Meyer lemon, and the sweetness of soft floral notes. Full of tropical fruit notes and bright acidity this wine is a great aperitif and pair excellently with charcuterie and cheeses.

Rose Wines

2017 Estate Rosé of Syrah


Harvest: September 6th, 2017
Vineyard Block: Picnic Slope Block
Blend: 100% Syrah
Aging: Fermented in neutral oak barrels, Aged in stainless steel & Bottled January, 25th 2018
Alcohol: 13.6%
Total Production: 308 Cases
Release Date: Spring 2018
Retail Price: $24.00


Vintage Notes: The 2017 vintage will be most remembered for a return of soaking winter rains to much of the Golden State.  The wet, cold (for California!) and lengthy winter saw an accumulation of 109.4 inches of rain fall on our tiny corner of Sonoma County.  Our vines enjoyed the cool bath and slumbered into early spring, with the first new buds popping up on March 12th.  The growing season was marked by a cool spring and early summer that quickly gave way to one of the hottest Augusts on record.  The late season heat spike pushed sugars forward and created a scramble to get grapes off the vine.   A hurried harvest followed as most of our estate fruit was harvested in early September, nearly three weeks earlier than average.  The wines of the 2017 vintage are fully ripe and will serve as a testament to the power and structure of California winegrowing.  

Winemaking Notes: Our Rosé block is situated in a portion of the vineyard that receives afternoon sunshine from the surrounding trees.  This additional protection from the sun allows the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly.  Harvested at the perfect intersection of ripeness and acidity, the grapes were gently crushed and pressed within four hours to extract a vibrant pink color.  Quick barrel fermentation followed with "sur lees" ageing, which helps to create structure and mouthfeel while preserving the delicate nature of the wine.  Held in stainless steel for the final month to maintain the bright floral notes, the wine was bottled young and is an excellent example of the classic spring time favorite.

Tasting Notes: The 2017 Rosé of Syrah simply sings with lively acidity and bright, fresh citrus flavors, inducing you to reach of another glass. Opening with orange blossoms, tangerine, and ruby grapefruit, this zesty summer wine offers up a wildflower garden and wild strawberries on the palate, this wine finishes with tart raspberry and sour cherry over nuances of white stone fruit. This neutral oak-fermented rosé retains its zingy acidity to make for a mouthwatering wine which pairs perfectly with seafood or any garden-fresh salad.

2016 Estate Rosé of Syrah

Harvest: September 12th, 2016
Vineyard Block: Picnic Ridge Block
Blend: 100% Syrah
Aging: Fermented in neutral oak barrels, Aged in stainless steel & Bottled January, 26th 2017
Alcohol: 13.2%
Total Production: 318 cases
Release Date: Spring 2017
Retail Price: $20.00


Vineyard and Vintage Notes:
The 2016 vintage was marked by the return of winter rains to dry regions of California. Heralded as an "El Nino" year the expectations for significant winter rains were quite high, with hopes of breaking the 5 year drought. Though falling short of lofty expectations we recorded 58.3 inches of rain at the estate, nearly equaling the last two winters combined. The soaking rains allowed our vines to sleep a little deeper than the previous two years, waking from their winter slumber on February 21st. Bud break was followed by a gentle spring and a cooler than usual summer. These cooler conditions allowed the grapes to linger on the vine and soak up the delicious flavors of California sunshine. Harvested at peak maturity the wines of the 2016 vintage are of excellent quality a prime example of California winegrowing at its finest.

Winemaking & Tasting Notes:
The 2016 vintage was an excellent year both in terms of quality and quantity. After an early and light crop in 2015, 2016 represented a return to more "normal" conditions. Harvested in the overnight hours of September 12th the fruit for our Rose was beautiful as it arrived on the crush pad. Our Rose is barrel fermented and spends 2 months post fermentation in "sur lees" ageing to enhance the intensity and complexity of the palate. Our 2016 Rose opens with delicate floral notes of cherry blossom, pomegranate, guava, and a hint of rose petal, painted over a crisp, flinty undertone of melon rind and sour cranberry. Enjoy with a lighter fare or a picnic on a warm spring day.


  View Online Store >

Visit Gustafson Family Vineyards!

Healdsburg Tasting Room

Healdsburg

Open Thursday - Monday: Our downtown Healdsburg Tasting Room & Wine Bar is located at 34 North Street, across from The Healdsburg SHED. We are open Thursdays – Mondays from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., no appointment necessary.

Guests may enjoy a tasting of our limited production Estate wines. Tasting fees are refunded with a bottle purchase. Wines are also available by the glass in our cozy lounge and wine & food pairings are NOW available! Please see our Events page for seasonal winery events and valley-wide functions.

Address & Contact: 34 North St. Healdsburg, CA 95448 | 707-433-2371

  Yelp Review >

Estate Tasting Room & Picnic Area

Estate

"If you think you've gone too far, you're probably almost here" - Winemaker Emmett Reed

Open Hours: Our Estate Tasting Room is open on Saturdays & Sundays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., no appointment necessary. See our Events page for seasonal winery events and valley-wide functions.

*Our picnic area is reserved for Tasting Room customers & Wine Club Members only.

**No outside alcoholic beverages allowed.

Appointments: Appointments are available on Fridays and Mondays between 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. We encourage you to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy our amazing views. Please contact our Tasting Room to schedule your appointment.

Group Reservations: For groups over 8, please contact our tasting room in advance for availability.

Directions from Healdsburg

  • From Healdsburg Ave, turn left onto Dry Creek Valley Rd.
  • Pass Sbragia Winery and the Lake Sonoma Dam, continue uphill.
  • Turn left onto Stewarts Point-Skaggs Springs Rd. (signs for Highway 1/Lake Sonoma Marina). Do not go over the Lake Sonoma Bridge; if you cross the bridge, you've gone too far.
  • Continue on Skaggs Springs Rd. for about 7 miles, entrance is on the right.

Directions from 101 Northbound

  • Take the Canyon Rd. exit, just north of Geyserville.
  • Turn left off the exit ramp onto Canyon Rd. Turn right onto Dry Creek Valley Rd. (Canyon dead-ends at Dry Creek). Pass Sbragia Winery and the Lake Sonoma Dam, continue uphill.
  • Turn left onto Stewarts Point-Skaggs Springs Rd. (signs for Highway 1/Lake Sonoma Marina). Do not go over the Lake Sonoma Bridge; if you cross the bridge, you've gone too far.
  • Continue on Skaggs Springs Rd. for about 7 miles, entrance is on the right.

Contact & Address: 9100 Stewarts Point-Skaggs Springs Rd. Geyserville, CA 95441.

Phone: 707-433-2371

  Yelp Review >

Tour, Tasting & Lunch Experience!

Tours Tours 2

The BEST way to Experience Gustafson Family Vineyards' Dry Creek Mountain Estate!

Let one of our wine educators take you on a guided tour of our Dry Creek Mountain vineyards and winery while tasting through a flight of our estate wines! Explore the history of Gustafson Family Vineyards as you learn about our viticulture practices and winemaking techniques. The experience will conclude with a glass of your favorite Gustafson wine and boxed lunch provided by our friends at the Dry Creek General Store as you enjoy our panoramic view of Lake Sonoma and the Dry Creek Valley below

Reserve your full Gustafson experience today!

  • Offered by appointment ONLY,  Fridays – Mondays at 11 a.m. at our Dry Creek Valley Estate
  • 48-hour notice required for ALL reservations
  • $45 per person; Club Member pricing $30 per person
  • Offered May – October (weather permitting)
  • Maximum 8 guests per tour
  • Please wear/bring closed-toed shoes and sun protection
  • Please call us at (707) 433-2371 or email us at info@gfvineyard.com with questions or for more information on this experience!
  • Lunch includes: choice of sandwich and two sides (sandwich and side options are emailed at the time of booking)

Gustafson Family Vineyards and Healdsburg SHED Wine & Food Pairing

SHED

Come eat & drink your way through Gustafson Family Vineyards latest releases paired with specially crafted delicacies from The Healdsburg SHED.


  • NOW available at BOTH of our tasting rooms!
  • Offered Thursday – Monday between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., by appointment ONLY, at our Healdsburg Tasting Room
  • Available at our Estate Tasting Room, by appointment ONLY, on Fridays, Sundays and Mondays between 11:00am and 1:00pm
  • 48 hour notice required for all bookings
  • 30 per person, Club Member pricing $15 per person
  • Please call us at (707) 433-2371 or email us at info@gfvineyard.com for questions or more information on our Wine and Food Parings!
  • Maximum of 8 guests per appointment
>