Truett-Hurst along Dry Creek – Biodynamic vineyards and gardens
Several years ago we visited the Truett-Hurst winery just after they had purchased the old Martin Winery on Dry Creek Road. Today the winery is vastly different in more ways than one. Make no mistake, the estate on Dry Creek Road is a delight to visit and the wines are very good. No wine is made at this venue, but the tasting room is nestled in among vineyards, gardens of wildflowers and vegetables, and the serenity of the Dry Creek stream flowing along the property.
The tasting fee is $5 and you can choose five wines from a list of eight. The Rosé, the Sauvignon Blanc and the Red Rooster Zinfandel were among our favorite wines. All the estate vineyards are biodynamically farmed and any additional grapes that are purchased are from organically-farmed vineyards in the Russian River Valley. The most notable among the principal owners is Paul Dolan. His name is synonymous with Fetzer Vineyards and the Fetzer Family. Paul Dolan and the Fetzers were one of the first to farm biodynamically and were a great influence on other wineries to become biodynamic.
The standout feature of this winery is the outdoor area, which is the perfect paradise for a relaxing picnic lunch in the vineyards. Just outside the tasting room are several tables where guests can enjoy tasting wine or munching on lunch. However, if you stroll just 500 feet beyond the tasting room, there lies Dry Creek on its way to empty into the Russian River. The winery has placed seating areas along the banks of the creek and it is the most wonderful spot to enjoy lunch or just the tranquility. We visited on a Tuesday around lunchtime and this area was occupied quickly. We imagine the area is very busy on weekends. We sat for a full hour just enjoying the musical sounds of nature. With a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, things cannot get much better.
The winery makes 7000 cases of wine each year. The wines are made at their VML winery, located on Westside Road. Most of the wines are sold directly from the tasting room and a few others can be found at the Total Wine stores around the Sacramento area. The wines are very good and priced reasonably.
Following our visit and preparing for this article, I went to the Truett-Hurst Website and was very surprised to discover that Truett-Hurst is a public company trading on the NASDAQ. The symbol is THST. In the “About Us” menu item of their Investment section I grabbed this snippet of information: “Truett-Hurst is an innovative and growing super-premium and ultra-premium wine sales, marketing and production company based in the acclaimed Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys of Sonoma County, California. The core of our business is a combination of direct to consumer sales, traditional brand sales and “retail exclusive label” partnerships with major retailers, such as Trader Joe’s and Safeway. “
It sort of takes the fun out of the concept of what we thought was a Family winery. Nonetheless, for now we highly recommend a visit to this winery for a tasting and, if not a picnic lunch, a walk around the amazing and beautiful grounds of Truett-Hurst.
To get to Truett-Hurst, take the Dry Creek Exit off Highway 101 in north Healdsburg. Go west for about five miles. The Truett-Hurst tasting room is open daily 10 am to 5 pm. There are several other wineries along this stretch. Check our Dry Creek and West Dry Creek Wine Trails for our suggested wineries to visit.