A Wine for Sailors

CW takes a road trip to visit the headquarters of a Sonoma-County label that's turned up at post-regatta parties.

Dry Creek Vineyard

The stained glass window depicting a boat under full sail is a welcome sign to nautical types visiting the headquarters of Dry Creek Vineyard in California.Elaine Lembo

Rum we drink aplenty, beer, too. Yet Dry Creek Vineyard, which gained a following among our ilk for its trademarked labels depicting classic yachts and mariners, not to mention for its quality reds and whites, is poised to place new emphasis on those who make the journey to its headquarters in Sonoma County, California, to sample varieties first hand.

The winery, started in 1972 by a family intent on fusing its lifelong passions of sailing and wine making, will soon celebrate with a grand reopening of its upgraded tasting room in Healdsburg, California. The company is also planning to renovate its website, making it more interactive and useable for the vineyard’s loyal clientele.

Among improvements to lighting, plumbing, and other systems, a new accent that any sailor can appreciate in the tasting room are plans for new light fixtures shaped like the wheels of a boat's helm. We had a chance to check it out on a road trip before the Strictly Sail Pacific boat show in Oakland, California.

The company also plans to reintroduce its regatta varieties to coincide with America’s Cup races that will take place in San Francisco Bay in 2013. “We’d like every single yacht club to carry Dry Creek Vineyard wines,” says communications director Bill Smart.