This week we’re taking a break from the West Sonoma/Gravenstein Highway wineries, and heading a bit up north, to the Dry Creek Valley. Specifically, a wonderful place on Lytton Springs Road called Mazzocco Winery.
This is probably the winery we visit most in the area, and that they haven’t gotten tired of us and our friends is a real testament to how fun a place this is. It’s also special enough to us that we served several varieties at our wedding, and sent our guests to stop by on their wine tours!
Of course — there is a backstory! Annie first heard of this winery when her friend won a weekend stay at their guest house, and decided to take her (and the DogBird) along. It happened to be bottling weekend so perhaps a little noisy, so the winemaker stopped by to give us a few freshly-filled bottles as an apology gift. The winery treated them all so well, that on the next trip, Annie joined the club. Later, on one of their early dates, Jonathan mentioned that he, too, loved Mazzocco, and that he, too, was a member. The fates had aligned.
Recently, we made our first visit to Horse & Plow, a new winery right on the edge of Sebastopol in the Russian River AVA. This was a place I had noticed on one of our trips up north, but never had the opportunity to try out. We tend to visit the same places repeatedly; we made the decision on that particular day everywhere we went should be new to us.
The winery has a small tasting room and a large outdoor area, complete with big trees, a few picnic tables, and lovely chairs where you can sit back and enjoy the wine (and cider!). You will likely be greeted by the winery dog Pepita — she came met us at the parking lot and immediately started flirting with the DogBird…who was not really having it. Nevertheless, she escorted us into the tasting room then out to the chairs, and visited with us until DogBird hid under the chair. Silly guy!
We tried two flights — a flight of Horse and Plow’s “Gardener” series of wines and the Cider flight to mix things up. These cost 15$ and 12$ respectively; the tasting cost is waived with a two bottle purchase. With each wine and cider, our server brought the taste to us, along with an explanation of what we were tasting. Pours were generous — there was definitely enough to have a taste, swirl around, then taste the new nuances. The bottles are moderately priced, both for wine & cider.
The winery welcomes dogs & kids, and offers ample space for both to roam (under supervision, of course).
What to try:
LordBird’s Fave: Gardener Series Pinots
LadyBird’s Fave: Farmhouse Cider
Horse & Plow
1272 Gravenstein Hwy N
Sebastopol, CA 95472