Amista Vineyards

After our phenomenal visit to Michel-Schlumberger, we did a little driving around Dry Creek Valley just taking in the beautiful rolling hills and vineyards. This creek was not-so-dry ;)

Dry Creek Valley

We loved our rental Prius. Isn’t it cute?

Our rental Prius

And on our way to check into Bella Villa Messina, we happened upon Amista Vineyards.

Many gorgeous wineries can be found in Northern California, and there are many outstanding wines to be tasted, so what often makes a winery visit stand out a little bit further are the people behind the tasting counter. That was the case at Amista.

Amista Vineyards

Down a long, rocky driveway flanked on both sides by vines, you will find Amista’s airy tasting room. High ceilings and tons of space give it a serene, uncluttered feel.

Amista Vineyards

To my astonishment and delight, after I had emailed them to mention we would be stopping by, Amista welcomed us with a sign on the tasting bar. Just looking at the below photo makes me smile and makes me a little emotional, to be honest. We weren’t just two people stopping in to taste wine. It was the best welcome we could have ever gotten.

Amista Tasting Room

We looked around the tasting room a bit, and we discovered these BRILLIANT little tasting packs. We ended up buying two, and thankfully we were able to bring them home. The security agents were not happy with us; apparently only 4 of these little bottles fit into one of those plastic bags, so that is the limit per person. The third box that we had received as a gift from DeLoach was probably pushing it, but we got through this time. I will be sure to ship them next time when we visit in cooler weather.

Amista wine tasting pack


It wasn’t long before Kari and Clayton got us down to tasting some wine. The first was one that I had been looking forward to after reviewing Amista’s website, 2008 Rosé of Syrah. This is a lovely, dry Rosé with a nice level of acidity, perfect for those who do not like their wine too sweet. It would be a great addition to a summer barbeque.

We tasted through the regular tasting menu which offered several great wines including their juicy, round 2006 Saini Farms Zinfandel, one of the grapes that the Dry Creek Valley is known for. But as I mentioned in my Michel-Schlumberger post, it was Syrah that I really ended up finding here.

As part of our tasting, Clayton brought out Amista Morningstar Vineyards Syrah from 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 for a vertical tasting. The cork imprint of the 2003 shows just how purple in color the wine is.

Amista Vineyards Syrah

Amista Tasting Menu - Syrah Amista Syrah

It was fun to taste through the years to discover the differences in flavors from vintage to vintage. My favorite? Well, I loved them all, but I was absolutely crazy about the 2005.It had a nose of freshly brewed coffee.This wine had big flavors, to me a little bit of roasted hazelnut, a little bit earthy, and a little bit of dark fruit. Simply perfect.


Amista’s wines are made with so much care; you can see that by looking around the tasting room and chatting with the staff, and you can learn more about the owners and their award winning wines on their website.


We left Amista happy and as proud new wine club members. We were sad to go, but something tells me we will be driving down this road again soon.

Amista Vineyards

Dry Creek Valley grapes

wine grapes

Don’t forget to enter my two giveaways: Taza Chocolate which ends tonight and Harvard Sweet Boutique which ends tomorrow night. And if you missed it yesterday, check out my recipe on Travessia Urban Winery’s blog.

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Tags: Amista Vineyards, California, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, Syrah, Travel, vineyards, wine, winery

  1. Michelle’s avatar

    Small gestures go a long way in my book! I think the sign was a perfect welcome and set the wine tasting off on the right foot!


  2. Daisy’s avatar

    Love your rental car! Love this winery even more. You guys are so lucky! Such a cool idea to taste the same wine aged in various years. The cork stamp is fun, too. great pictures as always!


  3. Shanna @ Shanna Like Banana’s avatar

    Now that is great service! Why more businesses don’t do the ‘little’ things I don’t know, but I love that you got the extra sweetness :)


  4. Danica’s avatar

    It looks like you all had such a fun long weekend in Northern Ca :) I LOVED the little B&B you all stayed at, the tour, the special welcomes and all the recaps. Great pix!


  5. Vicky Farrow’s avatar

    Meghan, I am thrilled that you had a great time at Amista and enjoyed our wines. We are excited to have you as part of our wine club family of friends and hope you will return “home” soon. Mike and I can’t wait to meet you.

    Vicky Farrow, Proprietor


  6. Angela (the diet book junkie)’s avatar

    oh wow, that 2005 syrah sounds great! i always appreciate a good wine that smells like coffee:)

    i went to a really good wine convention this weekend and experienced my first Pinotage. (never even heard of till then!) have you tried? some were just mediocre, but there was one that was literally like smelling coffee. (literally.) don’t know if i’d want it everyday, but it was interesting to say the least:)


  7. Megan’s avatar

    I love that the vineyard made you a little welcome sign. Definitely makes you feel important and recognized. I’m so jealous of your vacation, and I’m definitely coming back for advice when we plan our trip out there next year.


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