Perlis Picks: THE OTHER WINE COUNTRY, PART VI, Frick Winery

Wrapping up our day in the Dry Creek Valley, we visited Frick Winery. It is always interesting to compare and contrast large winery operations with smaller wineries.

Having just left the sprawling grounds and breathtaking architecture [and great wines] of Ferarri-Carano, pulling up to Bill Frick’s one-man winery was a little bit of culture shock and between these two wineries, along with our visit to Mazzocco-Sonoma earlier in the day, a great example of the breadth of what the Dry Creek Valley has to offer.

12615680_10150578792424986_5867804412100704558_oI’ve tasted and enjoyed Bill Frick’s wines at events, but had never been at his winery. So I was delighted to have this as our final visit of the day. Specializing in some of my favorite varietals [Rhones], Bill got the wine bug early – when he was eight years old and he accompanied his parents to Italian Swiss Colony winery in Sonoma County. This was in the 1950s and it took another 20 or so years for Bill to realize his dream, when he and his late wife Judith founded Frick Winery in 1976.

And speaking of dreams, his wine list is truly a Rhone-lover’s dream come true.  There were too many offerings for even me to taste everything, including some that you don’t often find:

Grenache Blanc, Estate, Owl Hill Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley – three vintages were being poured: 2010, 2012 and 2013.

Viognier, Estate, Gannon Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley – 2013

Cotes-Du-Dry Creek White Blend of Grenache Blanc and Viognier – 2013

Counoise, Estate, Owl Hill Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley – 2012

Grenache, Dry Creek Valley – 2012

Cinsaut, Dry Creek Valley – 2012

Mourvedre, Estate, Owl Hill Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley – 2012

Syrah, Estate, Owl Hill Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley – 2009 and 2011

C-cubed, Dry Creek Red Blend of Carignane, Cinsaut and Counoise – 2012

C-squared, Dry Creek Red Blend of Carignane and Cinsaut – 2012

Lucia, Dry Creek Red Blend of Cinsaut, Grenache, Syrah and Counoise – 2012

Cotes-Du-Dry Creek Red Blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsaut – 2012


As I said, there was no way we could taste them all, but we enjoyed all we did taste, especially the Costes-Du-Dry Creek white blend, the Mourvedre and the Cotes-Du-Dry Creek Red.

Frick owns three vineyards and also sources grapes from two others, all in the Dry Creek Valley. The Frick Estate Owl Hill Vineyard is planted to Syrah, Counoise, Mourvedre and Grenache Blanc. The Frick Estate Gannon Vineyard is entirely Viognier, named after Bill late wife Judith Gannon.
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The Frick Estate Garibaldi Vineyard, named after Bill’s mother-in-law, is an old [100-years-plus] vineyard planted to a mix of Mission, Berger, Palomino, Zinfandel, White Muscat, Grenache, Valdeguie and Mataro. Grenache is sourced from a vineyard planted by the late Chris Conley and now owned by Cam Mauritson. Cinsaut and Carignane are obtained from a vineyard owned by John Teledeschi in the western Dry Creek Valley.

All wines are extremely small production and are available only at the tasting room or online. Bill Frick is the epitome of the hands-on artisan winemaker.  Even at the small quantities he produces, I don’t know how he does it.

Truly a labor of love and worth a visit – or an order!


Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also Vice President of Eve Bushman Consulting (fka Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting) and President of MCP Financial. Michael can be contacted at or