Wineries in California: Barbara and Jay Fritz were actually ahead of the game when they started Fritz Winery in 1979. They had been farming their 100-acre vineyard on the edge of Dry Creek Valley since 1971. From the beginning, majestic redwood trees offered ideal microclimates, and a fresh spring was utilized for simple irrigation.
Eight years later, when they decided to build a winery, the Fritzes dug deep—two stories underground into the side of a hill. Their ingenuity allowed them to employ a natural gravity-flow system for the juice and an ideal, cool temperature for aging their wines, decades before the green movement came into being.
The winery, a monumental Gaudi-style masterpiece, blends function with style. Visitors are invited to have a seat at the tasting room bar. Here, they can choose to sample from a flight of estate or reserve varietals featuring Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Malbec, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon. For those who’d like to see the wine caves, a reservation for a weekend tour (including a rare barrel tasting) can be made.
At a time when going green is a goal for many, Fritz Winery is already enjoying the fruits of its eco-conscious efforts that began more than 30 years ago.
WHAT TO BUY
- ’06 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve, Dry Creek Valley Fresh cherries, plum, cola, floral, redwood sorrel $50
- ‘08 Zinfandel Estate Reserve, Dry Creek Valley Blackberry, black cherry, cocoa, subtle cedar $48
- ’08 Estate Malbec Bing cherries, plums, cola, chocolate $35
- ’09 Estate Sauvignon Blanc Mandarin orange, floral, white peach, crisp apple, Meyer lemon $22
24691 Dutcher Creek Rd
Cloverdale, CA 95425
Tasting Room Open Daily 10:30–4:30
From Hwy 101N, north of Healdsburg, exit at Dry Creek Rd. Turn left. Follow Dry Creek Rd for 9 miles. Turn right on Dutcher Creek Rd. The winery is on the left.
Touring & Tasting
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