by Fred McMillin
for March 19, 1998

A Sizzling Start


Explosions of fire and ash millions of years ago created a unique Dry Creek red soil that varies from maroon to bright rose. Its greatest concentration is on the upper, western slope of the Dry Creek Valley, the home of Pezzi King Vineyards. Our 1994 is our first release of Cabernet Sauvignon grown on this unusual soil in our estate vineyard.

...Letter from the winery's Marketing Director, Tom Rozner

The Rest of the Story

That soil is Cabernet friendly. It is low in nutrients, which tends to create intense flavors in the low yield of grapes. It is loose, which lets the roots penetrate deeply and the soil to drain well, that makes for healthy vines. There are 25 acres of those Cab vines which produced 5,200 cases of a rich, black-cherry wine, that charmed my tasters. We all are looking forward to the 1995 vintage, which was released recently.  


The Wine

1994 Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek Valley
Pezzi King Vineyards, Sonoma County
New tasting room at 3805 Lambert Bridge Road, just north of Healdsburg.
Contact—Pat Rowe, (707) 431-9388
Price—$19 range


Dry Creek is known for its Zinfandels. Recently the Dry Creek folks held their annual Zin taste off and first place by a wide margin went to the Pezzi King 1995. Clearly, P.K. is a winery to watch. Note—For much more about this new winery, see the August 22, 1997 WineDay titled "The New King on the Block."

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


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