At elevations over a thousand feet high, the vineyards and winery of Collier Falls emerge above the fog line, almost like a scene from a movie. Below the Zinfandel vines, a 30-foot waterfall flows year-round. Steelhead trout find their way to the waterfall to spawn.
In 1997, Barry Collier left his career as a Hollywood movie producer to become a winemaker. That same year, he and his family purchased the Dry Creek property and made their first vintage, the 1997 Collier Falls Zinfandel. It earned a 90 rating in the Wine Spectator. Before they knew it, they were making world-class wines.
The 2007 Zinfandel earned a score of 92 points in Wine & Spirits. The magazine loved the current Collier Falls Zinfandel release so much they named it one of the top Zinfandels of 2012, and gave it a score of 92 points.
In order to extract color and tannins from the skins and seeds, Collier grapes are given extended maceration and a cold soaking. Prior to bottling, the wine is racked four times. Collier Falls ages their wine 18-24 months in French and American oak barrels and 18-24 months in the bottle. This labor of love creates an aromatic wine with nuanced flavors such as rose petals and strawberries.
The sustainably-farmed vineyard and winery produces Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Syrah and Petite Verdot. The Syrah du Soleil is made in Susan Collier’s honor. Sadly, Susan passed away in 2007 from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). The Syrah comes from vineyards she helped plant and all proceeds are donated to ALS research.
Sample Collier Falls wines at the Family Winery Tasting Rooms in Kenwood and Dry Creek Valley. Open seven days a week. Kenwood: 10:30am – 5:00pm, 888.433.6555 ext 2, 9380 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood. Dry Creek Valley: 10am – 4:30 pm, 888.433.6555 ext 2, 4791 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg. www.collierfalls.com