Cruising through the vineyards on narrow, curved roads, we come to a sudden stop in front of Lambert Bridge. It’s only wide enough for one lane, so we have to wait for the car coming from the opposite direction to pass through. Once over the Lambert Bridge straddling Dry Creek, we arrive at Lambert Bridge Winery.
The winery, named after the original owner, Jerry Lambert, is also a reference to the iconic bridge that marks its 100th anniversary this year. Established in 1975, Lambert Bridge is one of the oldest wineries in Dry Creek Valley.
The winemaker Jennifer Higgins, one of the few female winemakers in Sonoma County, did her Masters in Enology in Bordeaux and focuses on Bordeaux varietals at Lambert Bridge, even though the Dry Creek Valley is known for its Zinfandel. The five noble grapes of Bordeaux include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
Lambert Bridge has always focused on Bordeaux varietals, and especially Merlot. It’s a small production winery, producing only 7000 cases a year in 600 case bottlings. They don’t distribute to the public, so to buy, you’ll need to join their wine club or visit the tasting room.
The tasting room is definitely worth the trip – you can choose to have a private tasting in the barrel room or in the cellar room if you are genuinely VIP. Take your own little picnic and sit outside in the garden with friends and a newly purchased Crane Creek Cuvee – a blend of all the Bordeaux varietals (except Cabernet Franc).