HEALDSBURG, Calif. (September 17, 2014) — The 2014 vintage is shaping up to be an excellent vintage for the Dry Creek Valley, the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley® (WDCV) announced today. One of 16 appellations in Sonoma County, California, Dry Creek Valley is known as exceptional region for zinfandel, which area growers say they are particularly excited about this year.
“This is easily one of the best vintages ever for our zin,” says Mick Unti of Unti Vineyards. “The low yields and warm summer have resulted in more concentrated flavors and brighter acidity.” Unti also called his sangiovese and barbera some of the best fruit he has seen.
Growers also report that while yields are down somewhat from the gargantuan 2013 harvest, the grapes promise richly-pigmented, structured reds and mouthwatering whites. As with much of California, Dry Creek Valley’s harvest began a bit earlier than usual due to the warm growing season and lower yields. A mid-August cool-down slowed ripening somewhat, giving growers some relief from the hectic picking schedules many initially predicted. Still, many Dry Creek Valley growers began harvesting two, or even three, weeks earlier than average.
“The tonnage was a little less than in the past, but we were delighted to see excellent grape quality for the third year in a row,” says Judy Edmonds from Palidrome Vineyards. “This harvest was a couple weeks earlier than usual. Because the reds and the white grapes seemed to come together, the wineries were hopping around to find storage space.”
Recent rains briefly raised concerns about rot, but have had little reported impact on harvest. Of more concern is the drought, which has some growers giving thanks for the early harvest.
“We have a large pond on the property that we use to irrigate the grapes,” says Edmonds. “At the moment the pond is down almost 10 feet; it’s never been that low before. During the last few weeks we weren’t sure we’d have enough water for necessary irrigation. We just made it!”
Despite drought conditions, winemakers are delighted by the vintage’s promise. Nick Briggs of Dutcher Crossing Winery says, “With what looks to be a third incredible year in a row, who is going to drink all this fabulous wine? I think this is going to be a year of fleshy, beautiful wines.”
Montse Reece, Associate Winemaker at Pedroncelli Winery says, “The intensity of color on our zinfandels is outstanding.”
While wine enthusiasts won’t get to taste the 2014 wines for some time, many of the 2012 reds and 2013 whites are available in winery tasting rooms and on retail shelves now. Additional reports on this year’s harvest are available online at www.wdcv.com/dry-creek-valley/harvest.php.
About Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley
The Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley® (WDCV) is an association of more than 60 wineries and 150 growers, of which more than 95 percent are small, family-owned operations. WDCV is dedicated to advancing the recognition, enhancement and preservation of Dry Creek Valley as a premium winegrowing region. Anchored by the charming town of Healdsburg, the Dry Creek Valley appellation was officially designated in 1983. Known as a premier zinfandel growing region, Dry Creek Valley is one of California’s oldest wine producing regions and is home to many heritage vineyards ranging in age from 50 to 120 years. To preserve this history and the valley’s pristine beauty, the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley supports sustainable viticulture and low-impact farming practices. www.drycreekvalley.org/