A Wine Tasting Itinerary of Wineries Producing Wines from the Rockpile AVA in California
Located in the far north end of Sonoma County, the Rockpile AVA borders Lake Sonoma and is known for intensely-flavored red grape varietals with strong concentration and balance. There aren’t any wineries or tasting rooms in the Rockpile AVA itself, so instead we found three wineries in the Healdsburg/Dry Creek area that craft wines from Rockpile and are ready to pour them for you. Enjoy this route including Mauritson Wines, Seghesio Family Vineyards, and Truett Hurst.
The Mauritson family has been growing grapes in the Dry Creek Valley since 1868 when their great-great-great grandfather S.P. Hallengren first planted vines in what is now the Rockpile appellation. The family's Rockpile homestead and sheep ranch grew to 4,000 acres by the early 1960s when all but 700 ridgetop acres were acquired by the Army Corps of Engineers in order to develop Lake Sonoma. The vineyards shown in many of the historical family photos are now under water!
Clay Mauritson, one of the sixth-generation of his family, was determined to add winemaking to the family business and released the inaugural Mauritson wines vintage in 1998. Today, the family still manages 450 vineyard acres across Sonoma County. They produce boutique wines, using only select vineyards that truly exhibit a sense of place, mostly from the Rockpile AVA.
Wines Produced: Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Blends, Chardonnay, Savignon Blanc, Rosé
THE place if you want Rockpile wines. Excellent variety, didn't taste a bad wine in the bunch. Tom met with us when we walked in with great wines, conversation and an impromptu tour of the property. Excellent job! -SH, Google Review
Seghesio Family Vineyards
Through five generations and over 120 years, Seghesio Family Vineyards has been part of the vibrant history and fabric of Sonoma County. The brand was established in 1895 when Italian immigrant and winemaker Edoardo Seghesio planted his first Zinfandel vineyard in what is now Seghesio’s Home Ranch Vineyard in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley. Edoardo and his wife Angela continued to tend their vineyards through Prohibition and were one of approximately 100 wineries to survive that era. Post-prohibition, Seghesio was a key supplier of grapes and bulk wine to large California wineries.
The modern era saw fourth generation Ted Seghesio make the first wines under the Seghesio label in the early 1980s. Under the leadership and guidance of Ted and his cousin Pete, Seghesio Family Vineyards has become renowned for exceptional Zinfandels and Italian varietals. The tasting room is located in Healdsburg.
Wines Produced: Zinfandel, Arneis, Red Blends, Vermentino, Rosato, Aglianico, Barbera, Sangiovese
It's super easy to enjoy yourself here. The great wine, helpful staff, and bocce ball make Seghesio a great place to spend the day. Bring some friends and enjoy, we sure did! -MW, Google Review
Truett Hurst Winery
Truett Hurst is located on 26 acres in the Dry Creek Valley, with 15 acres of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah planted. The winery was established in 2007 by two winemaking families who worked together in the wine industry for over 30 years. The Hursts have a vision for producing dark, rich and robust wines from the Dry Creek and Rockpile AVAs, while their business partners were passionate about creating a biodynamic farm that embraced their deep beliefs in sustainable farming.
The intimate and inviting tasting room is nestled on this biodynamic farm near the babbling Dry Creek. French doors lead out to a splendid patio with eye catching views and all the charm the Dry Creek valley offers.
Wines Produced: Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Red Blends, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer
Absolutely loved this winery due to the wine, grounds and baby goats. Staff was friendly and knowledgable and their wines were very tasty. Make sure to get there early and spend time in an Adirondack chair down by the river....so relaxing. -DC, Google Review