Dry Creek Valley Climate
The Effect of Climate on Dry Creek Zinfandel Production
Dry Creek runs the length of Dry Creek Valley from Lake Sonoma in the north, to the Russian River Valley in the south. The extreme southern part of the region is the coolest, as it is influenced by fog from the Russian River. Chardonnay is widely grown in this area. Hills located near the southern opening of the Dry Creek Valley prevent much of this fog from advancing north.
The eastern hills tend to receive more sun exposure, causing temperatures to be warmer than in the western hills. The western side of the valley generally produces leaner Zins than the jammier, more opulent cousins from the east.
The northern part of the valley is the warmest and mainly produces Rhone, Bordeaux and Italian varietals. Lake Sonoma is located in this part of the AVA and provides irrigation for the Dry Creek Wine Industry. The Rockpile AVA is located directly north of Lake Sonoma. This viticultural area specializes in Zinfandel as well.