Preston Vineyards is a lovely tasting room to visit. It is located at the very end of one of California wine country’s most beautiful backroads, West Dry Creek Road. A few years back, Preston was a quiet winery, a secret and hidden gem. However, in recent years Preston Vineyards has been featured in some well-known wine publications. I’m sure the publicity has been good for owners Lou and Sue Preston but for some of us long-time visitors, we prefer the old days where it was one of Dry Creek’s best kept secrets.
On our recent visit, the tasting room was jammed. Granted the room is of modest size, but we are not accustomed to waiting for a spot at the tasting bar. Another change since our last visit, Preston now charges a $5.00 tasting fee. The good thing is that the tasting fee can be applied to the purchase of wine. And, oh yes, the wines have gone up in price quite a bit. But, then again, what California wines have not, they all seem to somehow leap frog the inflation rate.
Preston is still producing good quality wines from its organically certified vineyards. In 2001, Lou and Sue decided to scale back their case production and focus their attention on making wines only from the best of their estate vineyards. The rest of the vineyards are sold to various other wineries. The result is about 8000 cases of very good wines and recognition from the wine experts. In 2005, the winery was officially certified for its organic farming and practices.
Beside the wines, Preston makes olive oils and has a full-sized kitchen for baking bread. The grounds are quiet and serene with a very cozy picnic area. This is a great spot for a picnic lunch and we suggest you try the delicious and different Rousanne, a white Rhone wine.
To get to Preston take the Dry Creek Exit from highway 101. Drive west 7 miles to the Yoakim Bridge. There is a stop sign here and Yoakim Bridge Vineyards is on the left. Cross the bridge and turn right onto West Dry Creek Road. Travel along West Dry Creek Road to the end and follow the signs to Preston. If you get to Bella Vineyards, you’ve missed the turn to the right.