We always enjoy a visit to Preston Vineyards, but this time our visit was more special than usual. We had the pleasure of meeting and taking a tour with Lou Preston. Lou’s story began 40 years ago when Lou and his wife Susan purchased their property in the Dry Creek Valley. They slowly grew their winery and vineyards, producing some 25,000 cases of wine. In the year 2000, they decided that big is not necessarily a good thing. They began to “grow down”their winery and today produce 8000 cases of wine, and farm and live a lifestyle that is environmentally in tune with their farmland.
When you think of Preston Winery, one thinks of the very fine wines produced from this end of the Dry Creek Valley. Preston has longed been known for Sauvignon Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Zinfandel, and even a jug red wine. But Preston is much more than that. Yes, it is a winery but also an amazing farm. There are 1200 olive trees on the property that annually produce 400 gallons of olive oil. There is a huge vegetable orchard that yields crops for the local farmers’ market and several restaurants. There are chicken, pigs and lambs that also provide foods for visitors, employees, and restaurants. Everything on the farm is organically farmed with the idea of keeping the land and all employees and visitors healthy. As Lou states in his manifesto, “Man cannot live on wine alone.”
One of Lou’s other talents is baking a daily supply of beautiful breads. Behind the tasting room is a wonderful baking room with a brick oven where Lou toils each morning at his passion. He has been baking bread for ten years and sells this only at the tasting room.
This is a very fun winery to visit because of its somewhat old-fashioned environment and very friendly atmosphere. At Preston Vineyards visitors are treated as honored guests. Getting to the winery is also an enjoyable experience because of the beauty of West Dry Creek Road. It is just about the prettiest wine country backroad anywhere in the world. Start at either the beginning of West Dry Creek Road at the Madrona Manor or crossover from Dry Creek Road at Lambert Bridge. This route will give more travel time on West Dry Creek Road. Bring your lunch and enjoy the peaceful Preston picnic area with a delicious glass of one of Preston’s white wines.