Seeking the best Zinfandels in Healdsburg – BACA Wines SpotlightJoe Campbell
If you’re on a mission to find the best Zinfandels in Healdsburg, you’re on the right track.
Located in Healdsburg in the heart of Sonoma County’s iconic Dry Creek Valley, BACA Wines provides an innovative spin with a focus on Zinfandel. BACA Wines specializes in Zinfandel’s geographic diversity while showcasing the differentiations across California’s vineyards and appellations. BACA, which is Latin for berry, signifies an exploratory endeavor to showcase some of the top growing regions in the state from Mendocino down to Paso Robles. The goal is to source high quality fruit that is nuanced, intriguing and has a history to it.
BACA is Latin for berry,
so that’s where we started.
Originally brought to California in the 1850s, Zinfandel historically has characteristics of depth, complexity and longevity that can be contrasted to Cabernet Sauvignon. The grape has many different styles to it from high elevation translucent almost Pinot Noir-like to Zinfandel grown in hotter areas, that tend to be more full-bodied, that in the early part of the 20th century was more of a house wine. The grape transcends stereotypes and provides a tremendous amount of styles that give an heir of mystery to the variety.
Food & Wine Pairing
Large Groups OK
BACA Wines, in collaboration with the WALT and HALL brands, is part of the Hall family’s portfolio of wines. Led by Jennifer Brown, daughter of Kathryn and Craig Hall, she brings a fresh and modern perspective to the brand. Prior to BACA Wines, she was the founder of Omghow/Girl Karma Inc., a social media site that has a positive influence on teen girls. Her health and wellness background along with her adventurous spirit shines a spotlight and permeates a cultural shift of the traditional wine tasting experience via the BACA Wines brand.
Through cutting edge winemaking and key vineyard partnerships, BACA has been able to develop eight Zinfandels that provide food-friendly versatility and a sense of adventure. The team is constantly involved in all of the viticultural decisions with the partner vineyards from pruning to harvest. This ensures balance in the vineyard resulting in homogenous fruit, sugar and tannin ripeness, resulting in wine quality
All of their wines are named after games giving the brand a playful element. One of their hallmark wines is the Tug O’ War Zinfandel sourced from the Maffei Vineyard in the Russian River Valley in Sonoma. The name Tug O’ War pays respect to the push and pull of the fog that rolls in from the Pacific Ocean giving way to moderate day time temperatures and cool nights. The dramatic diurnal shift emparts an elegant acidity that is ever present in the wine from start-to-finish.
BACA also makes a Rosé from their Zinfandel grapes in the traditional French method of the saignée where they bleed the juice off the skins and utilize whole cluster fermentation that imparts freshness. A California staple– their Rosé has flavors of watermelon, strawberry, and peach gummy rounded out by a lovely mouthfeel. Their Rosé is currently offered in a can format allowing for portability of the wine. Whether it is a picnic, beach hike or spa day, the wine can be easily stowed away and brought along on the trek. The cans also make sense from a sustainability perspective as they can be easily recycled.
Food and wine pairings remain a key part of the guest experience and BACA has one of the best experiences in wine county. Chef Brian Jones, a native of Sonoma, explores far and wide to find great seasonal bites that pair well with the BACA Zinfandels in unique ways. They also do a chocolate pairing that is really special. BACA partners with Fleur Savage Chocolates to come up with gourmet chocolate bonbons that match perfectly with their wines. These pairings come from hours of experimenting with different permutations to find the right match.
Top Winery in Healdsburg to Visit Now
The seasoned Sonoma hospitality team goes above and beyond to make guests feel welcome and provide a world class experience in the tasting room. BACA offers gamified wine experiences that bring in corhole, giant connect four and more that keeps guests entertained and on their toes. They leave with the joy of discovery as BACA celebrates and modernizes California Zinfandel with playful energy and serious winemaking. Knowledgeable wine educators guide customers through unique and diverse experiences that have them longing to learn more about Zinfandel and coming back for more.
All You Need to Know About Visiting BACA Wines
BACA’s beautiful Healdsburg tasting room is located the heart of Sonoma Wine Country! Thier tasting room features panoramic vineyard views, world-class artwork and, most importantly, award-winning wines. They can be found just off the intersection of Westside Road and Dry Creek road. Members are invited to picnic vineyard-side with minimum bottle purchase.
- Who – Owner & third-generation vintner, Jennifer Brown
- Winemaking Team – Alison Frichtl and Megan Gunderson
- What – Luxury, craft Zinfandels that are nuanced, honest, and current
- When – Open, daily from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM
- Where – 779 Westside Rd. Healdsburg, CA 95448
- Reservations – Can be made online here
- Phone Number – 1-707-721-8625
Best Zinfandels in Healdsburg – Wine Recommendations
Medium garnet in color. This Zinfandel has luscious flavors of blackberry and raspberry preserves, red plum, a hint of blood orange, and dark and brooding oak notes. The texture is plush and weighty, juxtaposed with a lift of acid that leads to a finish laced with a ferrous minerality. “The 2020 Zinfandel Tug O’War Maffei Vineyard brings a warming bouquet of spice, kirsch, and cedar. The palate is rounded and full of black raspberry liqueur, crushed violets, and sweet incense. This captures the warmth of the vintage without being weighted.” (95 points) – Jim Gordon
We love the exotic profile of this wine that is so unique to Zinfandel from this region. Deep ruby in color, Cat’s Cradle has nuanced aromas of potpourri, spicy clove, and sun-ripened blackberry that rise from the glass. The generous palate displays a fleshy and polished texture full of concentrated flavors. Earthy notes of terra cotta and licorice tea provide grounding balance and lead to a supple and lingering finish.
The 2018 BACA Somersault is everything we love about Old Vine Zinfandel. It is powerful, yet elegant. The wine leads with delicate, floral aromas of white pepper and rose hips. Pure, vibrant fruit flavors of blackberry and raspberry coulis follow. The finish is energetic with the signature minerality of these 100-year old vines. Fresh, round and polished, this is a serious wine with structure. It is luxurious now, and will age beautifully.
Our 2019 Home Base is a classic, full-bodied expression of Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. Enticing aromas of ripe plum, brambly blackberry, toasted fennel seeds and spice layer over a supple and concentrated palate. There is a freshness and energy to this vintage that leads to a delicious and mouthwatering finish.
The 2021 Stargazing is medium straw in color with a bright tinge on the edge. Delicate flavors of beeswax and dried flowers are juxtaposed with the more dominant flavors of stone fruit and cream soda. The palate is crunchy, mineral, and fresh. Rare and age-worthy, the wine is driven by understated fruit, and a weighty, full-bodied texture.