Young Owners Bring New Life to Historic Winery

Christopher Creek winery vinovisit
Christopher Creek is a small, family-owned winery overlooking breathtaking views of rolling hills in the Russian River Valley. Upon arrival, guests can park among vineyard rows that have produced four decades of award-winning Syrah, setting the tone for one of the most intimate and best-tasting experiences in wine country.

The Family

In 2011, Christopher Creek Winery was up for grabs and, like many other wineries in California, was likely to be sold to a large conglomerate seeking maximum profit with minimum respect for the craft. Not wanting to see their beloved winery lost to the big-wine business, the former owners waited for the perfect fit. On a night like any other in wine country (after a few glasses of their illustrious Petite Sirah), they struck an unlikely deal with Dominic Foppoli, a young local entrepreneur with a centuries-long family history of careful grape growing and exquisite wine making. Today, Christopher Creek is co-owned by Dominic, his brother, Joe Foppoli, and his best friend since childhood, Liam McCormick. With members of the Foppoli and McCormick families hosting guests at the winery each day, a trip to Christopher Creek feels like sitting down to a glass of (exceptional) wine with family and friends.

The Wines

The Foppoli family has been growing grapes and producing high-end wines in Italy since the 1470s, and their vast experience and penchant for perfection in the winemaking process can be tasted in every sip. The family story has taken them from wine growing in northern Italy to bootlegging in San Francisco during prohibition and now to a hill in Russian River Valley that overlooks five appellations.

With a growing interest in Rhone-style wines, Christopher Creek offers the opportunity to taste deep peppery Syrahs and a light, refreshing Viognier. Also on the estate are some of the most award-winning Petite Sirah grapes in California. While continuing the long tradition of incredible Syrahs, Petite Sirahs, and Zinfandels, the new owners have started a remarkable Pinot Noir program. Since they began with one Pinot Noir in 2012, all Christopher Creek Pinots have sold out in futures before they are even bottled.

Like in most families, loyalty is a characteristic that is paramount to the culture of Christopher Creek. Once you have enjoyed wine with the family there, you are family too. If you order Pinots now, you will have the ability to do so forever no matter how long the waiting list gets.

Three different experiences are available at Christopher Creek, and every tasting is a one-on-one, individualized experience crafted to provide the highest level of wine knowledge and hospitality.

  • First, there is the Bar Tasting ($15 per person), through which you have the opportunity to taste five of their wines in the cool and rustic wooden tasting room.

  • Then there is our favorite, the Barrel Tasting ($40 per person). This tasting is provided in the winery’s barrel room at a long redwood table surrounded by oak barrels rising up to the ceilings and quietly nestling the wines of the future.
During this tasting, you will have the privilege of tasting limited-release Pinot Noir directly from the barrel. We tasted it and, trust me, it’s amazing. The best part is that you have the possibility to pre-order this wine, even before it is bottled. But hurry up; the pre-order list is almost full!

This system reminded us of a historic tradition in Bordeaux: les Primeurs. Purchasing “en primeur” is a method of purchasing wines early while the wine is still in the barrel. A possible advantage of buying wines “en primeur” is that the wines may be considerably less expensive during the “en primeur” period than they will be once bottled and released to the market.

This Pinot Noir is produced in a very limited quantity, so we recommend you to taste it while there’s still time!

  • If you’re looking for a further, in-depth tasting, then the Ultimate Experience is for you ($90 per person). Taste the award winning wines of Christopher Creek, enjoy barrel tastings and food pairings, and open a limited production library wine that is unavailable to the general public, all while being accompanied by one of the owners of the winery. This is a wine tasting that you will not soon forget!

After the tasting, you can also enjoy a glass of wine at the poolside or bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the patio overlooking the rolling vineyards.

Oh, and we almost forgot, if you become a Club Member, you will have the ability to rent the estate house on the property with a grand dining room and hot tub where you can watch the sun set over wine country. The house comfortably sleeps 8-10 people. During your stay, you and your guests will receive complimentary VIP tasting experiences at the winery. The estate house also comes with its own private cellar where you will have full access to the entire wine history of Christopher Creek.

Nightly price: $1,495
Weekly: $6,965

Interested? Get more info here.

So, if you are looking for a truly intimate family wine experience with small-batch wines made with world-class quality, then Christopher Creek is the winery for you.

Christopher Creek Winery
641 Limerick Lane
Healdsburg, CA. 95448
Tasting Room Hours: 10am – 5pm Daily

Learn more about Christopher Creek Winery

VinoVisit Team


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