When we were looking for our final winery to visit during our most recent trip to the Dry Creek Valley area, we really wanted a place that would be new to us and to our readers but at the same time be of extremely high quality. We think we did pretty well.
Tim Bucher grew up on a dairy farm in the Russian River Valley, the son of Swiss immigrants. While enjoying a rich and varied career, primarily in Tech, he also manages to serve on the Grammy Foundation’s Board of Directors, including as Chairman. Oh yeah, he also started a winery.
The 40 acres for Trattore Farms in the Dry Creek Valley were purchased in 1999, although the winery wasn’t opened until 2015, with a focus on Rhone varietals. “Trattore” is the Italian word for tractor, in homage to the Bucher farm equipment manufacturer in Tim’s family home of Switzerland. There is also an image of a tractor on all the wine bottle labels as the winery logo.
Trattore Farms offers several different tasting experiences, including vineyard tours, tasting olive oils made from the trees on the property, and dining on the tasting room terrace. In discussions with Edd Lopez, Trattore’s Senior VP of Sales, we wanted to be able to give our readers as much exposure as possible to what they might experience. So, we started our visit with Edd with a mule ride (the 4-wheeled kind) into the vineyard for a guided tasting overlooking the beautiful Dry Creek Valley.
Before we get into what we tasted, let’s take a little detour. Do you remember the Stone Soup folktale? There are many versions of it, but the basic story is the hungry traveler is refused food by villagers, so he makes stone soup [which of course is nothing]. Gradually, he convinces the villagers to contribute small food items to make the soup better and the end result is a delicious meal for all to enjoy. There are good morals to this story, such as the importance of sharing, but also how the whole can exceed the sum of the parts.
Apropos to that, one of Trattore’s flagship wines is its unconventional Stone Soup Red blend – more on this in a bit. Recently, they added a sister white wine, the Stone Soup Estate Blanc blend and that is how our wine tasting began:
2021 TF Stone Soup Estate Blanc- a blend of Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne. Grapefruit notes and richness from Marsanne with a very slight effervescence in the mouthfeel.
2020 Trattore Roussanne Estate – 100% Roussanne. Beautiful golden hue with Gala apple nose and sweet Meyer lemon notes. A very smooth, rich mouthfeel.
2021 Trattore Gratitude – a blend of Cinsaut, Grenache, Counoise, Syrah from the Alder Springs Vineyard in the Mendocino AVA. Raspberry and pomegranate notes. Very lustrous in the glass and fruit forward.
2021 Trattore Stone Soup Red Estate – an unconventional and very complementary blend of 48% Zinfandel, 26% Grenache, 22% Petite Sirah and 4% Syrah. Dark cherry and young plum notes with a bold and profound mouthfeel. Besides being a great example of how a blend can create a great whole, the vineyard is also very stony, so nice double entendre for sure.
2021 TF Syrah – 100% Syrah from the Alder Springs Vineyard in the Mendocino AVA. Berry and violets on the nose with good acidity that will mellow and add complexity with a little age.
We dragged out this tasting as long as we could, enjoying the wine, the view and Edd’s great stories. But, it was time to move over to the tasting room terrace to enjoy olive oils and some lunch. Of course we tried a few wines there too…
2022 Trattore Michelle’s Rose – 93% Grenache, 7% Syrah. Whiffs of white florals with summer fruits – melon and strawberries – on the palate and a balanced finish.
2021 Trattore Grenache Estate – 95% Grenache, 5% Syrah. Notes of black cherry with a touch of anise. Medium body and acidity.
2021 Trattore Zinfandel Estate Reserve – It wouldn’t be Dry Creek without a great zin, and this one is jammy with sweet smoky tobacco notes and mildly herbaceous on the finish. Young but well balanced.
Before lunch, we tasted some of Trattore’s famous olive oil [the California Tuscan Olive Oil] along with a few infused Balsamic Vinegars –Valencia Orange, Meyer Lemon and White Peach. All were delicious, as were the house-made panini sandwiches served with a side salad.
And the view from the terrace was just as amazing as the vineyard view. What a visit and what a great way to wrap up our latest trip to the Dry Creek Valley! We are so looking forward to our next excursion to the area. When you go, Trattore’s Senior VP of Sales Edd Lopez suggested reaching out to him directly at email@example.com, especially if you are interested in Trattore’s event services or their “Get Your Boots Dirty” estate tour and tasting.
7878 Dry Creek Rd, Geyserville, CA 95441
Michael and Karen Perlis have been pursuing their passion for wine for more than 30 years. They have had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show them the way and after a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as they possibly could, they had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Michael and Karen do their best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers.