This hidden gem showcases a true passion for red wine
Located in the stunning York Mountain Appellation, Rocky Creek Cellars is a beautiful boutique winery that specializes in red wines and delivers a comforting tasting experience. The winery is owned and operated by the Somogyi family; father John Somogyi bought the 26-acre former apple orchard in 1986 and in 1999, turned it into the boutique winery that draws in customers from all over the state in to enjoy their wines.
“Our specialty is making good wine,” said John Somogyi, whose son Dustin currently operates the winemaking process. Dustin grew up helping his father with Rocky Creek Cellars, appreciating the winemaking process, and later studied viticulture.
The magic behind Rocky Creek Cellars wine is the true hands-on process the family uses during the winemaking timeline. This includes hand punch downs, a long barrel aging process, and handpicking the grapes. The winery produces 1000 cases each year, which are distributed to their wine club or can be purchased directly at Rocky Creek Cellars. The tasting room opened in 2006 and has a rustic environment that pairs perfectly with naturally smooth reds.
When chatting with the Somogyi family and admiring the hand-built tasting room, make sure to try their popular red wines bursting with flavor. Their famed 2009 Estate Syrah is a smoky, fruity wine with a hint of acidity. For a taste of springtime, the 2016 Playfair Rosé has light notes of cherries, raspberries, and more, making Rocky Creek Cellars’ first rosé a true success. If you wish to savor a dry red with notes of berry fusion, the 2013 Merlot is sure to please. The multiple award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon’s and Petite Sirah’s are an excellent tasting choice.
The Rocky Creek Cellars wine club is a great opportunity to continue the journey of tasting the palatable wines from a true family-oriented boutique winery in the comfort of your home. Tourists can receive a shipment every six months of six handcrafted wines delivered straight to their hometown, while local customers can choose a mail option or enjoy a membership tasting in the rustic tasting room while picking up their box.
Rocky Creek Cellars has so much to offer to its customers, such as engaging conversations with the Somogyi family, rich and aromatic wines that will make each sip an exciting experience, a fascinating history of the rustic tasting room, and so much more.
Rocky Creek Cellars offers tasting at 8687 Apple Road (off of Highway 46 West) in Templeton from 10am-5pm daily. Call (805) 238-1919 or visit their website, rockycreekcellars.com, for more information on the winery.
—Sadie Mae Mace