The Dragon in Dry Creek Valley

Frank Garcia

Sonoma County is known for a lot of great things but exquisite wines and beautiful wineries are at the top of the list. Sonoma and its relationship with wine goes back to 1857 when the Father of California wine, Agoston Haraszthy, founded what has become the oldest operating winery in California, Buena Vista Winery.

Currently, Sonoma County encompasses 16 different appellations that range from the cool climate of the Pacific Coast, where a lot of Pinot Noir is sourced from, to the warmer inner wine country hills and valleys. It shares borders with Mendocino County to the North, Napa Valley and Lake County to the East, Marin County to the South and the Pacific Ocean to the West.

Dry Creek Valley is one of the sixteen appellations within Sonoma County. Only 16 miles long and 2 miles wide, it is one of the smallest AVAs in the U.S. with just 63 wineries producing a diverse number of wines, such as Zins and several Mediterranean varietals.

The Cave | Frank Garcia

Towards the middle of the Dry Creek appellation, along Dry Creek Road, sits Pasterick Wine.

I came to know about Pasterick Wine roughly three months ago when I was venturing off to another wine tasting weekend to Sonoma. An Instagram friend of mine made some recommendations; Pasterick, was one of the places she suggested and I couldn’t be happier I was able to visit them. It was one the best wine tasting experiences I have ever had in Sonoma.

Founded in 1999, Pasterick is a family owned and operated winery. They’re a small producer with annual production under 1,000 cases. They specialize in Syrah and Viognier, which are harvested on the two slopes (the red hill with deep red clay and the brown hill of granite bedrock) that surround the winery. In 2007, The 3,400 sq. ft. Pasterick Wine Cave was dug into the 120 million year old Granite hillside. The cave is heart of the winery. It’s where they age their wines and is also home to their tasting room. An interesting fact, the cave was designed in the shape of a dragon! It hallways and rooms resembling a head, arms, legs, and tail. Visiting Pasterick is a truly unique experience worth checking out. They require appointments and only take 1-2 appointments per day so make sure you give them a ring ahead of time.

2017 Rose of Syrah | Frank Garcia

Their 2017 100% Syrah-sourced Rosé, developed by Gerry’s daughter, Alexis, is refreshing and clean as it could get and priced at $24 per bottle while supplies lasts.

The four different vintages of Syrah I had, were all to die for. In general, they are pretty fragrant, with deep ruby color, full bodies, balanced tannins, different layers on the tongue and lasting pleasant finish.

The wine tasting fee is waived with the purchase of wine, what a treat! You don’t find that too often in Sonoma or Napa.

Cheers to the Dragon!