What is a Field Blend Wine?

What is a field blend wine? Have you ever wondered what field blends are?

Well you are in luck. Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley recently hosted a special virtual tasting to showcase three zinfandel’s made in an “old school” style, what they call “field blend Zins” from Dry Creek Valley, an AVA in Sonoma County. This region has been setting the bar for Zinfandel for more than 100 years.

During the tasting, participants sampled field blend wines with renowned winemakers from the iconic Dry Creek Valley AVA. The field blend zins tasted were primarily zinfandel, but were grown and picked together with a small percentage of other grapes, and then the fruit is co-fermented. The basic principle of a field blend is to make a wine out of a vineyard that has many varieties planted in one field. Winemakers would harvest the grapes at the same time and then ferment them together. Years ago, this method was popular; not so much today.

Dry Creek Beeson Ranch Zinfandel; What is a Field Blend Wine?

For your viewing pleasure, I have the taped session below with a few notes on the wines sampled at the event. I’d recommend grabbing a bottle of each to taste the uniqueness each one has to offer.

In the video, you’ll hear renowned winemaker, John Olney of Ridge Vineyards, Lytton Springs, Kerry Damskey of Dutcher Crossing Winery and Dry Creek Vineyard’s Assistant Winemaker Nova Perrill talk about field blends and answer audience questions. It is quite an interesting discussion that covers field blends of yesterday and today.

Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel; What is a Field Blend Wine?

2011 Dry Creek Beeson Ranch Zinfandel

Take a trip down memory lane. This wine is reminiscent of early vintages of Dry Creek’s old vine Zinfandel from decades ago. These 100+ year old vines produce some mighty fine juice. Dusty, silky and flirtatious, this wine will knock your socks off.

2011 Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel

This is an earthy and balanced black beauty which showcases lovely minerality in this Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane blend.

Dutcher Crossing Bernier-Sibary Zinfandel; What is a Field Blend Wine?2012 Dutcher Crossing Bernier-Sibary Vineyard Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

Harvested, crushed, and co-fermented together, this field blend primarily consists of Zinfandel with a splash of Petite Sirah, Carignane, and Mouvedre. It is a red & black berry blast, with a mineral edge that is quite delightful. Cellar this puppy a few years before consuming for ultimate enjoyment.

Looking for other great Zinfandel’s? Check these out.

Dry Creek AVA


What is a field blend wine? Watch the video for answers and inspiration.




About the Author:

Editor and co-founder of Enobytes.com, Pamela is a sommelier and former restaurant manager and wine buyer with Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Court of Master Sommeliers & Center for Wine Origins certification. She has contributed to or been quoted by various publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Sommelier Journal, Vegetarian Times, VIV Magazine, UC-Berkeley Astrobiology News, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, NPR and USA Today. True to her roots, she seeks varietal and appellation integrity and is always passionate about finding the next great bottle of wine.

Leave A Comment

snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake