Right now the Dry Creek Valley is a patchwork quilt of every Autumn color you have ever imagined. Every color from Burnt Sienna to Cadmium Red and all the shades in between.
All laid out on a rolling hill landscape to tantalize your eyes at every turn. Just when you think the most beautiful vista has been viewed…A ha…your car gently winds around another bend in the road and bam…another artist canvas depicting a Rockwellian Thanksgiving country farm hits your vision.
This was our first Fall experiencing the majesty of wine country in all it’s harvest beauty…it really is a wonderful time to visit.
My family and I visited Preston Farm and Winery of Dry Creek in Healdsburg last week on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. It was pouring rain…yet the torrents of rain and the puddles of mud could not dampen the amazing feelings that this farm communicates. This farm adventure was nothing short of a truly inspirational experience.
Lou and Susan Preston have been farming this land since the early 1970’s. Their path has led them to “Socially Responsible Farming”. They have created and are constantly working toward a sustainable farming system, you can view their “Sustainability: Our Manifesto” here. They incorporate organic and biodynamic practices.
The Preston are alchemists…they are growing grapes, olives, fruits, nuts, vegetables and grains.
They are raising chickens, sheep and pigs. From these fruits of the earth they are creating amazing wines, organic olive oils, fresh baked breads and preserved foods, such as Sun-Dried Walnuts, pickled cucumbers and brined olives.
There is a blog/photo journal of what is happening at the farm at Preston Telegram.
They share their seasonal harvest with the local community through their farm stand open every day 11 – 4:30pm and at the Healdsburg Farmer’s Markets.
The Preston Farmstand is a blog to keep you up on what is available.
The Preston of Dry Creek web site that they have created is thoughtful, informative, educational and inspirational. After reading it “cover to cover” it gives you an insight into the intentions of the Prestons.
“It is a monumental challenge to get to know a specific piece of land; at Preston, this is our on-going motivation.”
Preston of Dry Creek – Web site
“The icon in my mind’s eye is an old kitchen table beneath the walnut tree – crunchy gravel underfoot – set with a bottle of Zinfandel and a clutch of tumblers to tempt passersby on a summer evening. You’ll enjoy a sentimental glimpse of that at our winery.”
Preston of Dry Creek – Fruits and Nuts
Apple Sun-Dried Walnut Caramel Crumble
Serving Size: 8
-= Ingredients =-
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 pound unsalted butter; cubed
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup sun-dried walnuts; coarsely chopped
6 each apples; mixed variety
1/3 cup caramel sauce
1/3 cup spiced cider
1 each lemon; juiced
-= Instructions =-
-Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
-Combine all ingredients. Place in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium, until combined and mixture looks like small rocky texture. Set aside.
-Peel, core and chop apples into medium size chunks. Mix with lemon juice, caramel and spiced cider. Place in a baking dish.
-Cover apples with the crumble topping.
-Bake until golden brown and apples begin to bubble.
-Remove and let cool slightly before serving.
-Serve with Cinnamon Ice Cream.
Preston of Dry Creek
9282 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Open 7 days 11 – 4:30