The Nordby Effect

An Unexplored Gem: Capo Creek Ranch Winery & Wine Cave

Posted by Rick Shone on Aug 29, 2019 3:01:00 PM
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On a whim, Mary Roy visited Healdsburg and Dry Creek Valley in 2011.  Mary, her husband Bob Covert, and sister Nadin Roy, were owners of Midwest Center for Advanced Imaging, a successful company located in Chicago specializing in MRI and Women’s Imaging.  Mary was attending a medical conference and decided to take a little detour to Sonoma’s Wine Country. Seeking an outlet for her passion for food and wine, Mary was immediately seduced by the area’s beauty and creative spirit. So, what happened next?  Mary and Bob decided to become winemakers and farmers. 

Capo Creek, Nordby Wine Caves

Playing hooky, changed Mary's life. It did not take long after that pivotal day for Mary to chart her course, beginning with her studies in winemaking at UC Davis and, simultaneously, begin the long search of finding the right location. Mary and Bob ended up with an amazing 50-acre property in Dry Creek. They wasted no time re-planting the farm, deciding to keep 8 acres of zin and replanted remaining 12 acres to predominantly Rhone varietals: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre', Counoise, Cinsault, Grenach Blanc, Viougnier, Picpoul, Rousanne, and Clairette Blanc, with just enough Tempranillo and Durif to blend some magic. The vineyard is farmed completely organic.


Today, Mary Roy plays the role of chef and winemaker.  Named after the device used on the neck of a guitar to shorten the strings and raise the pitch, the capo symbol represents all the simple beauties they want to embrace in this chapter of their lives, including their love of acoustic guitar along with a full on immersion with nature including the sprawling vineyards and beautiful kitchen garden. Capo Creek Ranch is nestled in between the hills of the beautiful Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County. Driving along the winding West Dry Creek country road, visitors find a beckoning entry way that curves up a hill surrounded by vineyards, across the street from their historic barn, one of the most photographed in Sonoma County.


One of the prominent features of the winery is the newly built wine cave. After extensive research, it quickly became apparent to Mary and Bob that Nordby Wine Caves was the best cave contractor for the job, particularly since the geology along West Dry Creek Road is challenging. Mary and Bob worked closely with long time cave expert Rick Shone, President of Nordby Wine Caves, to define their requirements. A variety of excavation methods were used to achieve the goals. The final underground space is both functional and adorable and truly a must see for anyone visiting the wine country.

Capo Creek Ranch is a labor love. Owning and operating a boutique winery is not for the faint of heart.  Together, Mary and Bob farm the vineyards organically, produce the wine one site, and share it with visitors during unique food and wine pairings prepared by Mary in their commercial kitchen. Visitors who have visited Napa/Sonoma for years claim this the best tasting experience they have encountered to date.

Although the bulk of the wine is sold at the winery or through their Cellar Brat Wine Club, their wines can also be found at selected restaurants in Illinois and California, including Sweet Ts, Guiso Latin Fusion, and the Trading Post. They are obsessed with quality and passionate about providing quality wine and food to theirs visitors and patrons.


Capo Creek Ranch is open to the public by appointment. Expect the unexpected, and make sure to reserve the tour of the cave and vineyards along with a delicious tasting! Contact Capo Creek Ranch by phone at (707) 608-8448 or visit their website at 

Topics: wine caves