Looking for a one-man Zinfandel show? Michael Talty lives and breathes Zinfandel. Talty is known as a veritable one-man Zin-growing and Zin making operation in Dry Creek Valley that has been cranking out winner after winner since 2003.
And what better guy to trust when you are winding your way through Dry Creek Valley, maybe a little overwhelmed by all the great winery choices in this Zinfandel dominated region? After 15 years of winemaking in his garage, Michael set out to find a Zinfandel source in Dry Creek Valley and eventually purchased a small vineyard in 1997 that would become his main supply of grapes, his winery, and his home. There aren’t that many wineries these days where the grower doing the field work is also the winemaker that is crushing, fermenting, and filling the barrels. And, it’s likely that when you taste at Talty it’s also Michael who is filling your glass – and filling you in about his personal world of Zinfandel. Talty is very small volume production, and his main Zinfandel is the one that he grows on his estate vineyard, a traditional dry-farmed, head-trained “field blend” of mainly Zinfandel plus a little Petite Sirah and Carignane – the old magical mix of synergistic grapes, and just how it’s been done for over a century in Dry Creek.
Talty also sources old-vine Zinfandel from Calistoga (Filice Connolly) and another in Dry Creek (Buchignani-Garcia). Tastings are by appointment, and visitors can choose to experience his “just Zin” tasting, or you may want to do a vineyard tour along with a vertical tasting of library Zinfandels from different vintages.