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Off The Beaten Road

Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County

To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy – Hippocrates

Apparently, I had taken this quote to heart because I did nothing the last few months. I had thought about writing everyday but couldn’t get my hands on the keyboard. I must have written one day and even that, with huge resistance. Is this what they call writer’s block? 😉 I don’t consider myself a writer nor do I believe in such a thing so let’s just call it what it is – Laziness! Now that I explained my absence, let’s move on to the post, shall we? 🙂

Dry Creek Valley

Sometimes, all it takes is to look the other way to realize what you’ve missed and how beautiful the world is when you take a diversion. I drove up Highway 101N many times before and always visited the towns and wine regions to the east of 101. And that is expected because to the east are the more popular towns of Napa and Sonoma and their world renown wineries. I don’t recall what prompted me to go west on that rainy day in February, but I am so glad I did and discovered the little gem of Dry Creek Valley. Dry Creek Valley is part of Sonoma wine region and is known for Zinfandel wine. Of course I knew that and why did I never think of visiting? I have no clue! Ah well, it is never too late!

Dry Creek Valley is a quiet and laid-back valley nestled between Healdsburg and Geyserville and had been untouched by the fires of last year. You can go wine tasting, olive oil tasting, hiking, fishing or stop by Lake Sonoma and enjoy the gorgeous views of the valley. There are sustainable farms that you could visit and pick fresh produce.

Along the dry creek road are many wineries, most of which are family owned. Here, you get a sense of a true agricultural region and not a wine region. The tastings are not rushed or mechanized like you often see in Napa these days. The Zinfandels here are not the overly jammy, way too sweet and high alcohol styles of Lodi and other warmer areas. The flavor profile is more nuanced and subtle and brings out the best qualities of this varietal. If Zin is not your style, they’ve got you covered as they grow many other grape varieties as well.

I had visited a few family owned wineries like Gustafson, Trattore and Nalle. The level of attention you are given is phenomenal and their passion for wine making is awe inspiring. Some of these wineries’ owners are very hands-on, from pruning to harvesting and wine making. They do a commendable job with their wines and tastings. Stop by Healdsburg for brunch or lunch and you have a perfect escape from the hustle that is Bay Area. I can’t wait to visit this valley again and taste more great wines the region has to offer.

P.S: You are in for a surprise when you venture off the beaten path now and then. Go on then! Take that detour and go wild!

woman in sunflower field

Hi there!

I am Aswani Kurra. I am a luxury travel expert and a Certified Sommelier who traveled extensively in Italy and the Mediterranean and lived in multiple countries including the state of California for 15 years. Join me as I share luxurious itineraries and bucketlist destinations from vineyards of California to the rolling hills of Tuscany, sweeping views of the Amalfi Coast and more.

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  1. Raghavendra Dasadi on June 17, 2018 at 4:57 am

    Excellent !!!!

    I generally don’t read blogs but man the Japan trip blog was simply superb.
    I visited Japan in the month of June 2016 too.
    I visited Maebashi & Tokyo.

    I tried Shabu Shabu but sticked more to sea food and chicken.
    Sushi 😘

    Thanks for the blog 👍🏻 & keep going
    Cheers, Rag

    • Aswani on June 24, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      Thank you for the kind words! I am so glad you liked it!
      Yes, Japan is an amazing country with such a unique vibe.
      And the food, Ah, amazing! Makes me want to go back again!
      Hope you keep coming to the blog again as I have some interesting travel posts coming up! 🙂


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