A Woman and an Old Tin Barn Started It all…
Back in 1993 when Ken and Diane Wilson purchased the old tin barn on Dry Creek Road (one of the oldest structures in the Dry Creek Valley) that houses their original winery, nobody could have predicted the massive success that would soon follow. Diane Wilson is a very talented winemaker, and her distinctively spicy, fruit-forward Zinfandels took the wine world by storm. That’s how it all started. Diane is still crafting her signature Zinfandels and other delicious wines as well at Wilson Winery but now she has a little help. She and her husband Ken have a few more wineries, too, all of which are producing award-winning wines and offer unparalleled hospitality for their visitors.
A Seriously Good Winery That Doesn’t Take Itself Too Seriously
If you enjoy big, spicy, fruit-driven red wines, excellent hospitality and amazing views of the Dry Creek Valley, Wilson Winery is a must-stop! This is a seriously good winery that doesn’t take itself too seriously. A whimsical (26 feet tall and 7 tons of fun) huge steel sculpture of a coyote welcomes visitors; the shady back patio features several tables, chairs and comfy patio furniture for relaxing and taking in the gorgeous views of the Dry Creek Valley; the tasting room vibe is casual and comfortable and is staffed by friendly, knowledgeable hosts and the wines are absolutely phenomenal. This is a dog-friendly winery – visitors often bring their dogs to relax on the patio and Molly (Diane Wilson’s trusty Border Collie) is often around, cajoling visitors into throwing sticks for her.
The “Yum Factor”
Owner/Winemaker Diane Wilson believes in making wines with the “yum factor,’ meaning she carefully crafts wines that are delicious and easy for many people (from wine newbies to professional wine judges and critics) to enjoy. The medals and accolades that Wilson’s wines consistently garner through the years and an avid wine club following attest to the fact that she continues to succeed in her goal of making “yummy” wines.
Big and Bold, Juicy and Balanced
Wilson’s wines have a certain consistent style. They tend to be big and bold (richly textured), juicy and balanced (great balance of fruit and mouthwatering acidity) and a little too easy to enjoy. The wines are named after family members (dogs included) and close family friends.
I had the pleasure of tasting several wines during my visit and although I really enjoyed every wine I tasted, the following two wines were my absolute favorites:
• 2015 Molly’s Vineyard Reserve Zinfandel ($42): Mouthwatering scents of blackberry, black cherry, blackberry bramble, vanilla and peppery spice continue as flavors in the big, richly textured mouth. Long, juicy finish.
• 2014 Sydney Reserve Petite Sirah ($50): Aromas and flavors of blackberry, plum, mocha and black pepper abound, from the first sniff, through the lusciously rich mouthfeel and on through the long, spicy finish.
Don’t miss Wilson Winery! Stop in for a delicious, relaxing visit and tell them “The Wine Wench sent me!”
Wilson Winery is located at 1960 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg.
Visitors are welcome daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.