Our Sonoma County Fumé Blanc is at the heart and soul of our family winery. My father started Dry Creek Vineyard all those years ago, inspired by the refreshing white wines of the Loire Valley in France, and my husband Don and I have carried on this love and tradition. Our heritage as the first winery to release a Fumé Blanc in Sonoma County paved the way for a reawakening of viticulture in the Dry Creek Valley. Today, we continue to break barriers with our flagship wine at the helm, and a new package to introduce to you…
Dry Creek Vineyard
Nothing to Hide
Jul 15, 2020
“The past year has been an interesting one to say the least, filled with floods, fires and now a global pandemic. The sensible thing to do would be to not make any waves, and keep business going as usual… but my father, David Stare, didn’t do that when he pioneered a renaissance of winemaking in Sonoma County in 1972, and I’m certainly not going to do that now, nearly 50 years later.”
- Kim Stare Wallace , President, Dry Creek Vineyard
As I walk down the wine aisle today, it is getting harder and harder to tell who is making the wine in the bottle, how it is made, and in some cases, even what varietals are in it. Clever marketing has replaced authentic, transparent winemaking and the rich histories of the multigenerational wine families. Other items in the grocery store proudly proclaim that they are all natural, gluten free, vegan, etc., but the wine bottles on the shelf are silent, keeping their stories hidden. We are bucking this trend of secretive labels, and giving our consumers a transparent look at what’s really inside.
Every grape has a home.
Each and every grape is grown on one of our estate vineyards or by one of our longtime growing partners. In our 100% certified-sustainable estate vineyards, we walk the land, replenish the soil naturally, and make multiple pruning passes throughout the growing season to ensure that our grapes are balanced and delicious when they reach their peak ripeness. We have cultivated relationships over the past five decades with small, local family farms and worked with them extensively for the best results possible. It is not an exaggeration to say that we know every hand that touches the grapes.
The vineyards for this refreshing white wine are exclusively within the Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley. This blend of warmer and cooler climate vineyards creates a unique dynamic tension between ripe citrus flavors and racy acidity. While many other Fumé Blancs and Sauvignon Blancs of a similar price point are moving to North Coast and California appellations, we remain committed to the quality of our Sonoma County vineyards.
We don’t add junk.
We believe in crafting our wines in the vineyard, with healthy soil and flourishing vines, so there is minimal intervention when the fruit is brought to the winery. A popular topic among health and wellness bloggers is to accuse wineries of adding ingredients such as colorants, anti-foaming agents and other chemicals to their wines, as well as hiding behind vague labels. The transparency on our new Fumé Blanc label was inspired by my daughter Taylor, a well-known social media influencer, who began to question the validity of these claims and the process by which our wines were made. I realized that there is more work to be done to educate the consumer about what is and isn’t in their wine. After all, we know about antibiotics in milk and cage conditions for chickens, so why not apply that to wine? That is why we have taken the label in a daring direction and included the terms gluten free and vegan, right on the front.
Another key to our minimal intervention is our commitment to sustainability. Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword for us, it’s our way of life and has been for many decades. Our viticultural philosophy is to maximize biodiversity, vineyard longevity and superb wine quality. With these guiding principles in mind, we set ourselves up for success for our Sancerre-inspired style of Fumé Blanc that has become the benchmark for Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc.
We are true to ourselves.
“A family business can be tough, especially when corporations are buying up family wineries left and right. We feel that it is so important that we remain family owned and independent, but why? It’s a question that we are asked often, and the answer is clear - we determine our own destiny.”
We control all aspects of our business with a long-term outlook, rather than focusing on short-term gains for shareholders. We make decisions based on what will produce the highest quality wines, as opposed to sourcing from broader appellations or purchasing inferior barrels to lower input costs. This simple yet powerful principle ensures that our wines have never been better.
Many times, as second generations take over the family business, case production tends to grow exponentially while quality declines at an alarming rate. Don and I have taken the opposite approach at Dry Creek Vineyard, with a careful and thoughtful eye on every detail to continually raise quality and never rest on our laurels. The 48-year tradition of our hallmark Fumé Blanc is no exception, with 100% stainless steel fermentation and no oak aging to showcase its refreshing, vibrant nature and steely minerality.
With each passing year, we find ourselves one of the few remaining truly private, family-owned wineries driven to create appellation-focused, varietal-defining wines that rival the best in the world. Competition is at an all-time high in our industry, so being true to our wines, our vineyards and the terroir of our region is more important than ever before. Our new 2019 Fumé Blanc label is the next bold step in the history of our family winery because now, more than ever, we have nothing to hide.
SAIL INTO SUMMER WITH THESE
DRY CREEK VINEYARD WINES
The 48th vintage of Fumé Blanc is a beautiful wine that emanates the classic Dry Creek Vineyard “house” style of Sauvignon Blanc. At first swirl, aromatics of Meyer lemon, kaffir lime, guava, pineapple and grapefruit leap forward from the glass with nuances of cucumber, lemongrass and white pepper. On the palate, the wine is bright and refreshing with flavors of Meyer lemon, kaffir lime, passionfruit and white peach with underlying minerality and hints of fresh cut grass and jalapeño. This wine is mouthwatering and delicious with lovely intensity and a clean, pure finish.
“Plump and easy, this wine smells like strawberries and tastes like darker fruit—black currants along with herbal scents of cigar tobacco. It feels supple and substantial, healthy and round, with foresty notes of pine sap.” – 91PTS, Wine & Spirits
“A spirited red, with a supple texture and well-layered black cherry, licorice and grilled sage flavors that pick up speed toward fine-grained tannins.” – 91PTS, Wine Spectator
The 2017 Dry Creek Vineyard ‘The Mariner’ is a beautifully crafted red blend from Bordeaux grape varieties. TASTING NOTES: This wine exhibits a beautiful range of ripe fruit, oak, and spicy aromas and flavors. Enjoy it with oven-baked pork tenderloin.