The wine dispensary recently took a field trip to Northern California’s Wine Country. We were based in Sonoma for several days, but that didn’t stop us from exploring the hills and other wine-loving towns. One of our regular favorites in the area is the Dutch Henry Winery along the historic Silverado Trail.
Dutch Henry Winery opened its doors in 1992 by the Chafen family, and has been named one of the top five wineries to visit in the region according to the Wall Street Journal.
From a grower’s standpoint, they have several vineyards in Napa Valley, from Calistoga to St. Helena, but they give their various appellations a united feel by naming the entire winery Dutch Henry after a prospector turned farmer who historically lived and worked in the area. Two of their appellations are CCOF (California Certified Organically Farmed), and they also produce gold medal award winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil from organically farmed Olive Orchards.
The Chafen family is also serious about sustainability in their winemaking, energy use, and farming practices. They have implemented a solar paneled roof that offsets a significant amount of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide each year, and they even installed a 4,500 sqft wine storage cave into the property that saves energy, reduces their carbon footprint, and provides top-notch consistency in temperature and humidity; the construction of which was greatly sourced locally materials and labor, had minimal impact on the environment, and sits below a certified organic olive tree orchard.
As far as the winery’s varietals, they include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Bordeaux Blend, and a dry Rose, but one of our favorites was the Sauvignon Blanc. Sourced from an organically grown vineyard in Pope Valley, the wine is fermented in stainless steel and aged in neutral oak for 6 months. It’s well rounded on the nose with peach, and lots of tropical fruits that are also showcased on the tongue. It’s a clean wine with a light to medium body, good acidity, and it even lets off some honey and dried fruit for added complexity. It retails between $20-$30, but when we were there, they were offering 20% off a case, so we had to take them up on the offer!
Thank you, Dutch Henry, for your hospitality and for showing us a relaxed time and great wines in your tasting room!