Visitors who drive along the Dry Creek Road in search of great tasting rooms often miss one of the best, the Sbragia Family Vineyards. It is a really fun winery with some terrific wines and one of the best views of the Dry Creek Valley. How is it possible to miss this winery? Well, the typical tourists begin their trek on Dry Creek Road from the town of Healdsburg or from Highway 101. There are so many inviting tasting rooms along Dry Creek Road that one seldom drives more than just a few miles before they have had their daily fill of tasting room visits.
We have a suggestion for the next time you travel the Dry Creek Valley. Do Dry Creek Road in reverse. From the Dry Creek Exit, head West 10 miles to the last tasting room on this road, the Sbragia Family Vineyards. Then work your way back to Healdsburg and you will certainly be impressed with the very enjoyable group of wineries at this end of the Dry Creek.
Sbragia Family Vineyards
There are many things to like and enjoy at Sbragia Family Vineyards. First and foremost is the view of the Dry Creek Valley. Unless you own or rent a home in the hills of the Dry Creek Valley, it is doubtful that you’d find a better view of this Zinfandel powerhouse of a valley. Secondly, the deck at Sbragia is large and accommodating for a picnic or wine tasting. You won’t be bumping into other guests even on a busy weekend.
Now to the wines! Ed Sbragia is the owner and winemaker. Need I say more? This man is a legend in the Napa Valley. He made wine at Beringer for 18 years and still is a consulting winemaker at Beringer and a few other wineries. Even the great Joe Montana enlisted Ed Sbragia to help and the two have collaborated on a label called Montagia. Ed Sbragia has estate vineyards in Dry Creek and elsewhere and uses his long-standing friendships with vineyard owners to garner some of the best grapes available. This all adds up to a wonderful tasting adventure at the Sbragia Family Vineyards.
We met Ed at his Sbragia Family Vineyards tasting room and had a delightful visit speaking with him and tasting through his lineup of wines. He is a man of passion and conviction when it comes to his wines. He likes his wines to be “fruity, but not robust, and be distinctive.” Ed Sbragia grew up in the Dry Creek Valley and his father taught him his winemaking skills. While still at Beringer he began the Sbragia label and was making his wine in small amounts. It always had been his dream to own a winery and, by good fortune, the Lake Sonoma Winery became available in 2005. He snapped up the winery and his Sbragia label found its home.
All the wines are well made and tasty but I think the Zinfandel wines are the standouts here. If you get a chance, try them and do a side-by-side tasting of three different vineyard-designated Zinfandels. It’s interesting to see what the different terroirs and winemaking treatments do to the same grape. It is a good learning experience.
Pack your lunch or stop at the General Store on Dry Creek Road for a hearty sandwich or salad. The deck at Sbragia Family Vineyards has views of the valley in three different directions. What a way to enjoy an adventure in the Dry Creek Valley than to bask in the sun, sipping Sbragia Sauvignon Blanc, and taking in the view!
Nearby wineries that are interesting to visit are Ferrari Carano and Dutcher Crossing. Three wineries in one day should be sufficient.
Other wineries that we like on this route can be found on our Dry Creek Wine Trails.
Melanie Schwartz says
I recently visited Sbragia Family Vineyards while doing site research for my private concierge business and felt so fortunate to experience the legacy of Ed Sbragia. So, while you may be standing in a Dry Creek tasting room, tasting Dry Creek wines, you can also taste wines from iconic vineyards across the north Bay. Monte Rosso in Sonoma Valley, Cimarossa on Howell Mtn and Wall on Mt. Veeder in Napa. These are serious wines from sought-after vineyards that Ed, in his years with Beringer, had the opportunity to work with.
Thanks Melanie for the suggestions. Any wine from Monte Rosso Vineyard has long been a favorite going back to the days before Louis Martini was sold.