The Dry Creek Valley near the town of Healdsburg is one of my favorite places to visit. Sad to say, but in recent years it has been discovered not only by tourists but by wineries as well. It seems that each time we visit, we discover a new winery that has recently opened. It is hard to keep up. About a year ago the Zichichi Family Vineyards opened its tasting room and last week was our first chance to visit. Zichichi is located on what I think is the most wonderful backroad in wine country, West Dry Creek Road. This is a pretty little road that winds along Dry Creek Valley and ends at Bella Vineyards. You have to drive slowly because around each bend it’s likely you will meet up with bicyclists.
So here is the deal on Zichichi Family Vineyards. Steve Zichichi purchased his Dry Creek Vineyards of Zinfandel and Petite Syrah vines in 2000. In November of 2006 he opened his beautiful winery and tasting room. The tasting room is nicely done but the best part is the view from the deck. It was absolutely stunning on our visit as a partly cloudy sky beamed rays of sunshine on the fall colored vineyards.
Steve Zichichi happened to be in the tasting room and it was nice to talk to the owner and hear about his wines. The only bottle of wine we could taste was the 2005 Old Vine Zinfandel that spent about 19 months in the barrel. It was delicious. His 2005 Cab and Petite Sirah were sold out. Then Steve took us back into the barrel room where we sampled the 2006 Napa Cabernet and the 2006 Petite Sirah. These wines won’t be bottled until next year but are being currently offered as “futures.” The Petite was so good in the barrel that we went for a half a case on the “future”at $40 a pop. This is way more than we like to pay for wine, but we could not resist. We got caught up in the moment.
To get to Zichichi you will have to pass up many an inviting tasting room along the way. From Highway 101 take the Dry Creek Exit and head west along Dry Creek Road. Drive 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.