Although Fritz Winery, in Cloverdale is probably best known for its outstanding Chardonnays and prize-winning Zinfandels, a new star has risen that is proving to be just as dazzling. It is the Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir – vintage 2000 now in release. This particular vintage is a blend of grapes from two of the famous Russian River Valley vineyards owned and farmed by the Dutton family, and winemaker Christina Pallmann says that this wine makes a “powerfully explosive statement, with its strawberry, sour cherry, cinnamon and vanilla mix of aromas and flavors.”
Josie Gay, tasting room manager invites visitors to taste this new wine along with three charming Chardonnays, a Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and the limited production Colombini Vineyard Carignane from Mendocino County. Those who think the only real wine is Zinfandel will rejoice while sipping Old Vine Zin, Rogers’ Reserve Zin and a luscious 2000 Late Harvest Zinfandel, which, like the Pinot Noir, is available only at the tasting room.
Not only is the winery tucked away on a verdantly wooded hillside, it is almost completely invisible, since the facility is totally underground. To protect the quality of the grapes and handle the fruit as little as possible, the winery is built in three tiers, so that movement of must and juice is by gravity flow, with no pumping necessary.
There are two versions of the Underground Wine Club with membership either in the Bottles Club, or the Case Club. Except for the size and frequency of the shipment, members all receive the same benefits, which include discounts, advance notice of events, of new or unusual releases and invitations to special celebrations during the year. It is easy to join on the website: www.fritzwinery.com, where any wine that is available in the tasting room may be purchased.
Fritz Winery is at 24691 Dutcher Creek Rd., Cloverdale, CA – the pleasant, bucolic road which winds between Highway 101 and Dry Creek Rd just above Geyserville. For information check the web or call 707-894-3389.
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