A Visit to Porter Creek Vineyards

A Visit to Porter Creek Vineyards

In the sleepy, woodsy west side of Sonoma’s Russian River Valley you’ll find Porter Creek Vineyards, a small winery that specializes in the classic varietals of this region — pinot noir and chardonnay. You’ll find plenty of other goodies on offer at the property’s tiny tasting room, which is available by appointment. (We were able to secure a same-day spot, but as always, it pays to plan ahead.)

On a drizzly late fall day, we enjoyed a very friendly and gracious tour through everything Porter Creek had available for sale — eight bottlings in total. Thoughts on everything tasted follow.

8735 Westside Rd. Healdsburg, CA 95448
Open daily, 10:30am to 4:30pm.

2018 Porter Creek Chardonnay Russian River Valley – A pleasant way to kick things off, this chardonnay is made principally (but not exclusively) with estate fruit. Lots of gooseberry is complemented with tart lemon and a linen-heavy finish. B+ / $36

2018 Porter Creek Old Vine Chardonnay George’s Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley – A big step up here, these well-aged vines producing wine in more of a Burgundy style. Lush and gorgeous, the wine overloads the senses with a creamy coconut note infused with lemon curd and green apple. A favorite. A / $46

2019 Porter Creek Viognier Hayley Marie Vineyard Russian River Valley – Atypical for viognier, with notes of toasted marshmallows and a surprisingly delicate fruit character. Perfumed but quite scattered. B- / $42

2018 Porter Creek Pinot Noir Fiona Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley – Big strawberry notes, almost jammy up front. Cola comes along in the midpalate, alongside a surprising tannic grip, which strikes on the finish as rather underdeveloped. B / $58

2018 Porter Creek Pinot Noir Winegrower’s Reserve Russian River Valley – Much bolder and bigger, with lush notes of cherry, raspberry, and vanilla in the mix. Hints of chocolate on the finish. I love the complexity here; perhaps my top wine of the tasting. A / $72

2018 Porter Creek Pinot Noir Old Vine Hillside Vineyard Russian River Valley – Heavy notes of cherry and a light raisiny character give way to notes of heavy tar and leather. Rich and dense, it’s a powerhouse exploration of pinot. A- / $82

2018 Porter Creek Zinfandel Old Vine Sonoma County – Strawberry meets raisiny notes on a slightly sweet palate, leading to a perfumed finish. I enjoyed this wine, but with its berry-heavy fruit I never would have guessed this was zin. B+ / $45

2018 Porter Creek Carignane Old Vine Mendocino Valley – A curious varietal, brought in from Mendocino. Rhubarb, raspberry, blackberry, and graphite all make for a complex experience, with a dark chocolate note on the back end. A- / $32


2018 Porter Creek Old Vine Chardonnay George's Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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