So Many Reasons To Celebrate
Marking their 20th anniversary of purchasing the hilltop site in Dry Creek Valley and breaking ground on their olive mill and boutique winery, owners and husband-and-wife team Tim and Mary Louise Bucher of Trattore Farms and Dry Creek Olive Co. feel like their story is only just unfolding. Over the years, this stunning property has become a feast for the culinary senses providing visitors with a unique opportunity to experience both world-class Rhône-style winemaking and award-winning olive oils, all under one roof. Wine and olive oil tasting flights are available year-round and are best enjoyed outside on the terrace, boasting expansive 180-degree ridge-top views. A must-do when visiting is their “Get Your Boots Dirty!” tour of the ranch and ancient olive trees, along with an exploration of their winery cellar and olive mill. For the true gourmand, stay even longer to indulge in a sumptuous wine and food pairing. Choose from a selection of hot-off-the-press Paninis, seasonal wood fired pizzas, or sample locally made cheeses, salumi and condiments with one of their cheese board offerings. A full listing of all tastings is available at trattorefarms.com/ tours-and-tastings.
The Science Of Creating Art
The couple’s journey began with Tim’s agricultural roots in the Russian River Valley combined with his love of technology. His fascination with all things mechanical like farm equipment and tractors as a child led him to work with the early founders of Silicon Valley prior to purchasing the 40-acre estate in 1999.
Mary Louise, a Stanford educated electrical engineer, and a UC Davis certified Master Miller, also spent her early years in tech but now finds managing the olive mill far more rewarding. “There is both science and art at work with olive oil,” said Mary Louise Bucher, Master Miller and Proprietor. “I use my technical background when it comes to the less exciting (but necessary) aspects of running an olive mill like spreadsheets and production activities. The art comes in with blending the oils and creating new flavors, writing label copy, or teaching educational seminars. I love nothing more than to create and share something wonderful that will be enjoyed to the fullest. Balancing the flavors of the amazing olive varieties with our own taste preferences is a welcome challenge from Mother Nature. It’s a job I like to call from Soil to Oil.”
Using a holistic mindset, the Buchers have created a high-tech winemaking facility powered by solar energy, on-site water treatment plant, and an organic compost system using grape and olive pomace. Their entire operation incorporates functionality and sustainability to support their ecological principles every step of the way. A state-of-the-art Pieralisi hammer mill, along with a custom-designed traditional granite stone mill were imported from Perugia, Italy. Both operate with the modern convenience of automated technology allowing them to select a specific mill based on olive varietal, ripeness and desired oil style.
Get Your Boots Dirty!
“Get Your Boots Dirty!” – the farm’s vineyard, orchard and mill tour for $70 per person and $50 for club members – is the perfect way to experience the entire ranch in action. Welcomed with a splash of award-winning wine, you’ll climb aboard a Kawasaki mule to explore the property. Over the 90-minute excursion through the sprawling vineyards and orchards-some with trees dating back to the 1850s – you’ll learn about the Rhône grapes and more than 20 different olive varieties planted. First stop is the olive mill to see the stone and hammer mills, then onto the cellars to learn about their wines. The tour concludes in the tasting room with a full wine and olive oil tasting. Tours are available by appointment and reservations can be made by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (707) 431-7200.