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In the old-world tradition of winemaking families, the names Kreck and Mill Creek Vineyards are synonymous. Three generations of Krecks have shared a commitment to innovation, turning grapes grown on their estate into award-winning, premium varietal wines under the Mill Creek label since 1974. From vineyards to cellar and tasting room, the family has been involved in all aspects of running the 10,000 case annual production winery. The family's traditional approach to business, combined with a shared desire for innovation, is carrying Mill Creek Vineyards into the 21st century. New vineyard techniques are tested to improve the character of the fruit; Mill Creek trademarked and owns the word "Blush" as it pertains to wine, and was one of the first producers to bottle a varietal merlot. As Sonoma County's 1995 Winemaker of the Year, Hank Skewis contributes nearly two decades of enological experience gained in Sonoma County and Burgundy, France, to the family effort. The Kreck family entered the wine business not as investment bankers but as growers. Our goal then remains our goal today... grow excellent fruit. After settling in the Dry Creek Valley in 1965, the first plantings were mainly Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1968, the current estate ranch was purchased and the prune trees gave way to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Within a few years, Merlot was added to the mix. Our passion of producing a great bottle of wine can only start by producing great grapes. Mill Creek's winery sits on a knoll overlooking the vineyards. The main building was on the property when the Kreck family purchased the land in 1968 and was converted to a state of the art winery in 1976. The two main sections of the winery include temperature controlled stainless steel fermentation tanks and small French and American oak barrels. Winemaker Jeremy Kreck’s basic philosophy is to let the fruit shine in Mill Creek’s wines. “My goal is to have the winemaking process and components compliment and enhance the fruit.” The whites are picked at optimum maturity, then crushed and pressed gently. The juice is settled, then racked and inoculated with yeast. The whites are fermented in a combination of stainless steel tanks and small oak barrels. The gewürztraminer and sauvignon blanc are bottled early the next year, while the chardonnay is allowed to age for a brief period. The reds are crushed, then fermented in small stainless steel tanks while either being pumped over or punched down, two to three times daily. After fermentation, the must is pressed and the wine returned to stainless steel for a brief time to settle before being racked to 60 gallon barrels. Jeremy adds, “Barrels are the seasoning, if you will, of the wine world. Done properly, flavors are lifted and additional layers of complexity added, without being overwhelming in the finished product.” Reds age from 12-24 months depending on the wine. Tasting Room Mill Creek is open for tasting from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. – Description from Nerevar

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