Fritz Underground Winery began in the late 1970s under the ownership of the late Jay Fritz. Jay was one of the many winery owners and winemakers that emerged from my alma mater, Saint Ignatius High School in San Francisco. Perhaps it was his S.I. academics that gave him the insight to construct a winery entirely built into the side of a hillside in a quiet and secluded area of Dry Creek Valley. I know of only one other winery that was built in this underground mode and that is Field Stone in the nearby Alexander Valley. Today, Fritz winery is run by Jay’s son, Clay. It is a fun winery to visit, but unfortunately can easily be missed by the wine country traveler to the Dry Creek Valley. Clay was gracious to spend time with us, and he enjoyed meeting our friend Sam, who had attended Dartmouth with Jay. The winery is on Dutcher Creek Road, which runs west from Highway 101 in Cloverdale to Dry Creek Road. The best idea for visiting the Fritz Underground Winery in Dry Creek Valley is to travel along Dry Creek Road from the Dry Creek Road Exit on Highway 101 in Healdsburg. There are many wineries to visit along this route. See the Dry Creek Wine Trail for the best of the best to visit. Work your way down Dry Creek Road and turn right on Dutcher Creek Road. Travel up the hill for a few miles and the Fritz Underground Winery in Dry Creek Valley will be on your right. There are several tasting and tour options, and a food and wine pairing offered. Check the Fritz Website to book your tour and tasting, or just pop in. Bring your lunch and enjoy this serene area of the Dry Creek Valley. Oh, yes, the wine is very good here. We like the Rosé, two Chardonnay wines, and a delicious Zinfandel from the Fritz Dry Creek vineyards.
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