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Jug Wine Sundays at Preston of Dry Creek

Jug wine isn’t what it used to be and I mean that in a good way. What’s on supermarket shelves may not have changed much since the days of Hearty Burgundy but here and there throughout Sonoma County, you can find outstanding wines in three-liter jugs.Preston of Dry Creek Jug Wine" align="left" />

Take Preston’s Guadagni.

Sold only at the winery on Sundays and limited to two jugs per customer, the bottle is filled and labeled on the spot, as you chat with the Prestons and nibble a few homemade olives.

Guadagni is a tribute to Lou and Susan Preston’s late neighbor, Jim Guadagni, known to locals as the Mayor of Dry Creek. Jim was Lou’s mentor and if you get him talking, he’ll share colorful stories, including one of the teenaged Jim guiding a walking plow behind a sweating horse, a jug of wine at either end of the field.

Jim grew zinfandel, carignane, malvoise and mataro. Today, malvoise is known as cinsault and mataro is called mourvedre but the blend that bears his name is as juicy, voluptuous and smooth as his family wine likely was.

Preston of Dry Creek, 9282 West Dry Creek Rd., Healdsburg. Open daily, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. $5 tasting fee, refunded with wine purchase. Guadagni is $32 per 3-liter jug; it is sold only on Sundays; don’t even think about asking to buy it on another day.

– michele anna jordan