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It’s a Northern Sonoma County must-visit! Wine, gardens, views for days, Quivira Winery, in the Dry Creek Valley in Healdsburg, California, has all of the above and more. This property had just so much life peeking out  from every corner that you could spend an entire day checking out flowers and chickens and vegetables, not to mention stopping back in the tasting room for a sip of wine here or there.

We visited Quivira on the same day we visited Lambert Bridge and Truett Hurst, a hot, dry, perfect blue sky day, where splashes of cold Sauvignon Blanc went down a treat.

Quivira Winery, Healdsburg

Quivira is in a beautiful location in the Dry Creek Valley, surrounded by vineyards and trees, and there is something super calming and soothing about their property. The way it is laid out, with gardens all around and farm animals not far down (piglets!) is made for wandering, and the welcoming staff definitely encourage it.

Quivira Winery

summer flowers in wine country

The tasting room is bright and airy, and there were a couple of small, fun groups tasting wine and enjoying the day. There was such a nice vine in the room. As I said above, we went in and out of the tasting room, bringing our tastes out in the garden to soak up the sun. I think I maybe stored enough to get me through to January?

I was really loving mineral-y Sauvignon Blancs on this trip, bursts of lime, hints of grapefruit, mouthwatering acidity but also balance, like in Quivira’s Fig Tree Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. I’m also loving Mourvedre more and more and am excited to see it appearing on more California tasting lists. Like the tasting notes say this wine offered juicy dark cherries and more importantly, those pepper notes that I seek. I love when a wine hits my tongue and there is an immediately recognizable spice.

Quivira Winery tasting room

As you probably know, I will never turn down a Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, and despite the heat (or maybe because of it) the 2011 Quest Zinfandel was amazing. A texture like velvet, and again, that spice, a bit of jam, yum.

The Wine Creek Ranch Dry Creek Valley Rosé wasn’t on the tasting we chose, but we got to have a taste anyway and ended up taking home a bottle of this GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) blend.  It was perfect perfect perfect with the warm sunshine and dusty air. Strawberry notes dominated with subtle spice on the finish. This wine is sold out for a reason. It is the perfect summer wine.

Quivira practices biodynamic farming which is interesting, a little mystical sounding, and something I’d like to learn more about. Biodynamic farming involves the entire ecosystem of the vineyard and  results in the smallest carbon footprint possible. Their site offers a good bit of information on what biodynamic farming means and how each living thing on their property contributes to that.

Quivira Winery gardens

I probably sound by a broken record at this point, but we have visited a LOT of wineries in our travels, and Quivira is definitely one I would put at the top of your list for spending at least an hour at. The vibrancy of the property, its people, and of course, the wine all draw you in and make it so that you don’t want to leave. Then again, that’s Healdsburg for you.

Quivira Winery Quivira Winery gardens

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Tags: Healdsburg, Tasting Room, Travel, travel blog, wine, wine blog, wine country, wine lover, wine tasting, wine travel, Wine Wednesday, winery

Sonoma’s hidden gem was a little bit hard to find, but as we wound our way through the Dry Creek Valley, we had not a care in the world. Lambert Bridge was a recommendation from Erica, and it was an awesome one. I love getting winery recommendations from wine-loving friends; it’s the best way to plan your trip!

For some of my wine country experiences, please do visit my Travel Blog Posts page!

We visited Lambert Bridge on Labor Day, and it was the perfect start to a day of wine tasting. We left our little wine country home and headed to Dry Creek Valley, one of my favorite wine regions I have visited.

Dry Creek Valley

California was in a drought when we visited, so everything was dry. Aside from the water emergency, the landscape looked cool in its sun-baked state, with green grape vines taking up huge swaths of landscape. The earth and the vines and the harvest process, crush, all of that, filled the air and smelled so good.

Dry Creek Valley

Northern Sonoma Countywine country foliage

It took us a while to find Lambert Bridge as our GPS lost signal and we went the wrong way. We opened an old fashioned map and luckily didn’t give up. The journey was well worth it.

Lambert Bridge has a gorgeous winery tasting room, with lots of dark wood and stone. The tasting room reflects their wines, big, high quality, with a lot of attention to detail.

Lambert Bridge Winery

The tasting room staff was great; they were very informative about the wines, letting us know how winemaker Jennifer Higgins is incredibly hands on, spending lots of time with the grapes and on the land and doing a ton of the winemaking prep process by hand. Lambert Bridge makes small lots of wine that involves lots of hand-picking and sorting grapes berry-by-berry. There’s clearly a lot of love in the wines, and while that is also reflected in the cost, a few bottles for a special occasion are just the souvenir.

wine tasting at Lambert Bridge

We tasted a bit of this and that from each of the tasting options, starting off with the most refreshing 2013 Bevill Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, THE perfect wine for the hot dry Sonoma County day. With citrus and clover notes, this wine tasted like Northern California in a glass. Crisp acidity made it really enjoyable.

Zinfandel and Cab Franc were center stage in the tasting for us. Despite the heat, these reds were perfection.

2011 Sonoma County Cabernet Franc was a treat, with that characteristic Cab Franc spice, funk, and berry notes. Cab Franc is like a an autumn walk in the forest, smelling crunchy leaves and smoke from fireplaces, mixed with super ripe berries. It’s such an amazing grape, and I love tasting Cab Franc from coast to coast.

2011 Forchini Vineyard Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel was another favorite, big and bursting with jammy raspberry and blueberry notes, along with vanilla and spice, balanced, with a long and lovely finish. I love Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, and this one is definitely top of the list.

Lambert Bridge Winery  Lambert Bridge has a lovely property, ideal for a wander or  a seat outside with a taste of wine. It is really a top-of-the-list winery, and if you will be in Northern Sonoma County, I recommend a visit.

Lambert Bridge

Will you be celebrating Wine Wednesday today?

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Tags: Dry Creek Valley, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Sonoma County, Travel, wine, wine blog, wine lover, wine tasting, wine travel, winery

Happy Travel Tuesday! We leave for Ireland in a month, and have a trip to New Jersey to visit family in between then and now so I am feeling good about feeding the wanderlust these days. We’re also still reminiscing about an amazing Sonoma holiday over Labor Day weekend, so today I thought I would share some out and about photos, places I didn’t necessarily photograph in-depth and pretty pictures I caught along our travels. Enjoy!

Napa roads

{Napa County Road and the bluest sky}

 

Hog Island Oyster Company

{Hog Island Oyster Co. – get ready for some shucking!}

Sonoma Coast

{The Magnificent Sonoma Coast}

Girl and the Fig, Sonoma

{Chocolate and Fig Salted Caramel Trifle at The Girl and the Fig}

Passaggio Tasting Room, Sonoma {Passaggio Wines new tasting room in Sonoma – I love Passaggio Wine but was not bright enough to check the tasting room hours and showed up on a closed day. From what I could see, it is beautiful.}

 

Russian River Valley sunset

{Russian River Valley sunset from our Flipkey Sonoma home}

Truett Hurst

{Sun-baked Dry Creek Valley land in August – I LOVE the heat.}

Truett Hurst

{Cooling off at Truett Hurst, one of my favorite Dry Creek Valley wineries}

Truett Hurst

{Truett Hurst Sauvignon Blanc, riverside}

Dry Creek General Store

{Dry Creek General Store – a favorite for a cold beer, Dry Creek Valley views, great sandwiches, and people-watching}

Holdredge Pinot Noir

{Gorgeous Pinot Noir, Grateful Dead memorabilia, and rap music at Holdredge – so.much.fun. Who says wine is snobby?}

Napa Valley Sunset

{Sunset as we left Napa Valley on our last evening}

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Tags: California, California wine country, Food, Napa, Napa Valley, Restaurants, Sonoma, Sonoma County, Travel, travel posts, Travel Tuesday, wine, wine blog, wine blogger, wine tasting, wine travel, winery

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