Wine Hosts’ Bios
Hosted by Michael and Vicky Farrow, Owners
About the winery: Did you know Amista is the premiere producer of Dry Creek Valley sparkling wines? We are now in our 8th year of crafting sparkling wines using the traditional Methode Champenoise. Our Sparkling Blanc de Blanc, Sparkling Syrah and Sparkling Grenache are all made from grapes grown on our estate vineyards near the charming town of Healdsburg. Our classic wines include estate-grown Chardonnay, Syrah, Grenache and a GSM blend plus Dry Creek Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon made with fruit from nearby Dry Creek neighbors. Amista means “making friends” and we look forward to celebrating the best in wine country living – great wine, great food and great friends – as we cruise the Danube.
Hosted by Kelly Ferris, Owner & Chris Russi, Winemaker
About the Winery: Bob and Sandy Comstock began growing grapes in Dry Creek Valley in 2002. Throughout the years, as they talked with family and friends, the idea of creating a small winery was born. With their daughter, Kelly Ferris, stepping in to the role of General Manager, Comstock Wines opened its doors in 2015. Comstock Wines was inspired by the fundamental passion to grow and source only the best Sonoma County grapes, and transform them into wines that are as delicious as they are memorable. Featuring Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Chardonnay, Comstock Wines strives to highlight the unique characteristics of each varietal. Winemaker Chris Russi, a Northern California native, uses his diverse understanding of varying appellations of Sonoma County and their ideal varietals to create wines that speak to regional uniqueness. We look forward to sharing wine and time with you on the Danube in 2017
-Gustafson Family Vineyards
Hosted by: Dan Gustafson, Owner
About the Winery: In the spring of 2002, while driving with his family between Healdsburg and the California coast, Dan Gustafson, a landscape architect and real estate developer, discovered a hidden gem in the mountains above Lake Sonoma. He pulled his car to the side of the road, peered over the fence, and explained to his family that this would be a perfect place to grow grapes. Dan saw his dream of planting his own vineyard come true that year with the purchase of those 87 acres in the Dry Creek Valley appellation of Sonoma County. Today, Gustafson produces 11 different wines from the estate, including award-winning Riesling, Rose and Zinfandel.
-Mill Creek Vineyards
Hosted by: Jeremy and Mindy Kreck, Owners
About the Winery: Mill Creek Vineyards is a family owned and operated estate winery located in the Southern Dry Creek Valley. Set on 70 acres near the town of Healdsburg, Mill Creek makes small lots of handcrafted, artisan wines. The original founding family, the Krecks, still own and operate the property. Jeremy Kreck, grandson of the founder, is the winemaker and vineyard manager, while his parents are also still actively involved in the daily aspects of the business. Jeremy’s wife, Mindy, has her own graphic design business in Healdsburg and does all the print and package design for Mill Creek. Producing fewer than 8,000 cases each year, Mill Creek’s award winning wines are crafted from estate grapes grown on the winery property in Dry Creek Valley, and from vineyards located in Alexander Valley, where Bill and Yvonne Kreck live.
Hosted by: Giovanni and Julia Pedroncelli, Owners
About the Winery: Founded by Giovanni and Julia Pedroncelli and family owned since 1927. We believe in our tradition of authentic wines made from one of the best appellations in California. Sustainably farmed for 90 years, the Pedroncelli family focuses on fruit from estate vineyards as well as longtime neighbor’s grapes. Our wines define us: Zinfandel, estate grown since 1906; Petite Sirah, a perfect partner; Sangiovese, in honor of our roots; Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, because we like choices; Port, from four Portuguese varietals which make the best blend. Our cellar door is always open for friends.
Hosted by: Tim and Mary Louise Bucher
About the Winery: Translated from the Italian word for tractor, “Trattore” felt like the suitable name for the land which combines the owners’ passions on 40 acres of steep rolling hillsides in Dry Creek Valley. First generation born and raised in a farming family in Healdsburg, California, Tim began his grape-growing ventures in Dry Creek Valley at the tender age of 16. The estate ranch is a tribute to his appreciation for the craftsmanship and enduring tradition of an iconic old red tractor brought over from his European roots and is seen both on our wine label and in our tasting room. It’s also where a commitment to rich farming traditions in the vineyard and attention to detail in the cellar come together to produce our collection of ultra-premium wines. Much like the Côtes du Rhône region of France, these diverse soils produce luscious fruit from grape varieties including Grenache, Syrah, Mourvédre, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne and Dry Creek Valley’s most popular grape variety, Zinfandel, as well as another favorite, Petite Sirah which are all grown on the estate and are found in wines under the Trattore label. More than that, Trattore offers a “sense of place” where guests can see where it all starts in the vineyard as well as in the olive groves plus tour our olive mills which produce award-winning olive oils.