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Darms Lane Winery


Pinot Noir sourced from the Dutton Ranch Barron Vineyard.

During his lengthy career in the international pipeline business, Larry Bump traveled extensively and was fortunate to experience the wines and cuisines of numerous countries throughout the world. He was sufficiently enamored with the intricacies and delights of the grape that he eventually invested in a fledgling California vineyard and winery.Larry Bump explained it this way. “We were fortunate to be able to travel to the Mideast and throughout most of Europe. I became very interested in French Bordeaux wines and also the wines of Italy. When the chance to invest in an upcoming Napa Valley winery presented itself, I jumped at the opportunity to invest in something I thought could be a great deal of fun.”That was in 1991, and the winery was Crichton Hall Vineyards, and was devoted primarily to Chardonnay growing and production. Ten years later, Bump bought out the other minority partners in the winery and, in 2002, bought the remainder of the property from its original owners.He then renamed the operation Darms Lane Winery in homage to the esteemed road that the property sits on.“Everyone knew where Darms Lane was,” Bump explained. “It was practically the first road that you came to after leaving the outskirts of the City of Napa.” Neighbors include the likes of Laird Vineyards, Groth Vineyards, and Trefethen Family Vineyards, all long-time stalwarts of the Napa Valley wine industry.Since Bump’s interest lay more in red wines than white, he decided on a major makeover for the vineyards of his fourteen-acre estate.“The existing Chardonnay vines had been planted by Far Niente Winery’s Gil Nickel back in the 1980’s but had some phylloxera problems and were in relatively poor shape. I decided to replant the entire vineyard to Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. This allowed us some real flexibility when it came to producing outstanding and classically-oriented Bordeaux varietals.”Darms Lane Winery’s first release of its 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (some 450 cases) came in 2007 and was met with outstanding reviews and great praise in the wine press. “We sell off a good deal of our grape production,” he continued. “I originally wanted to produce a small amount of a particularly high quality Cabernet, and In fact, for the first two years Darms Lane only produced a Cabernet Sauvignon. His production has grown slowly over the years and he has since added a Petite Verdot, Chardonnay, and Russian River Valley Pinot Noir to the portfolio. Darms Lane has released 1,200 cases this year, a level that is quite comfortable for the tiny winery.

Another addition made to the Darms Lane collection is a wine dedicated to Bump’s first wife, Linda, who died several years ago of ovarian cancer. Since 2007, some 150 to 200 cases are produced from a special section of the Darms Lane Vineyard that has been named Linda’s Hillside Vineyard. Part of the proceeds from the sale of each bottle of this special wine are sent to a fund in New York that oversees research into the causes of ovarian cancer.

While Larry Bump is an everyday participant in the Darms Lane Winery operation, he has plenty of help from his immediate family. His daughter Tricia manages the day to day operations and other daughters, Terry and Tina, are involved with the company’s sales and marketing. He recently married his new wife, Carol, who serves as an attendee at each wine tasting and winery event and generally helps around the property. This is all quite pleasant for Larry Bump who is perfectly pleased with the development and success of Darms Lane Winery.
“It began as a dream and turned into a charming business,” he concluded. “I knew it could be fun in the beginning but I never expected it to bring the feeling of completeness that it has favored my family with. I have even enjoyed the farming aspect, much more than I anticipated. I was used to running the biggest pipeline company in the world, and that was a different sort of challenge. Right now, I am able to concentrate on some of the finer aspects of the wine business and that is enjoyable. Along with my marvelous winemaker Brian (Mox), we are able to craft some superb wines for our customers. I hope it never ends.”


  1. Darms Lane
    2011 Pinot Noir
    Darms Lane
    Dutton Ranch
    Mendocino County

    $31.00

    $39.00
    Best of Class - SF Chronicle
    id: 2241
    Special
    Pinot Noir

Winemaker Brian Mox

Brian has been crafting Darms Lane’s wines since 2003. Born and raised in the Midwest, Brian Mox had family roots in farming. He earned a chemistry degree at MIT, but decided to follow his passion for food and wine and later earned a degree in viticulture and enology from UC Davis. He has worked in the Russian River Valley for many years and comes to Darms Lane Wine with winemaking experience at Laird Family Estate, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Etude Wines, and more recently, at Lewis Cellars.

Brian Mox works with owners Larry and Tricia Bump to makes wines that truly represent the vineyards they are from. As he describes it, his job is to maximize the expression of the vineyard in a style that is true to the fruit and meets the expectations of the owners and preferences of the consumers. His ultimate goal is to make wines that are approachable and fun to drink when young, while also preserving the complexity and longevity that the vineyard naturally produces. In the ten years he has spent at Darms Lane, Brian Mox has played a key role.

About The Region

Darms Lane sources its premium Pinot Noir from the Dutton Ranch Barron Vineyard in the Green Valley, a sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley. The Dutton Ranch is sustainably and organically farmed and produces prized grapes for some of California’s most respected wineries. While it’s known as the coolest, foggiest region of the Russian River Valley, the Green Valley is also one of the smallest. It lies in the southwestern part of the Russian River Valley, bounded by the towns of Sebastopol, Forestville, and Occidental and it is one of the most consistent of any North Coast appellations in terms of soil, climate and flavor. Its premium Pinot Noirs have a distinctive flair, and it is that special uniqueness that drew the attention of the Darms Lane family. Pinot Noirs from this vineyard and region have great aging potential with a balance of elegance and power.


Steak Florentine


Ingredients

12-16 oz. arugula
1 1/4 in. thick top sirloin steak
3/4 cup olive oil
6 sage leaves
6 cloves garlic
3 stems rosemary
2 lemons
4 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano


Instructions

Rinse and dry arugula, then season with salt and place on platter. Chop fresh garlic, sage and rosemary. Place in a bowl and add the zest of both lemons and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

In a skillet, pan sear heavily seasoned (salted and peppered) steak on high heat until nicely caramelized on all sides, yet still very rare. Thinly slice and lay on top of arugula. Grate cheese over the steak until covered.
In a small saute pan, heat oil on stove top until it begins to smoke. When smoking, add the garlic, sage, rosemary and lemon zest. Leave on the burner to cook for ten seconds. Remove and pour over steak to finish cooking the beef. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the top and serve and enjoy with Darms Lane Pinot Noir! Recipe sourced from Darms Lane Wine, Napa Valley.




Pan Seared Veal Chop on Polenta with Chanterelle Mushroom Sauce


Ingredients

4 Frenched veal chops

Polenta:
1 cup polenta
2 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbs. butter
3 oz. Tellaggio cheese

Sauce:
4 oz. chanterelle mushrooms
3 shallots, diced
2 Tbs. fresh thyme
1 cup Darms Lane Pinot Noir
1 cup beef stock
1 Tbs. butter
Salt & pepper to taste


Instructions

Put polenta, milk and chicken broth in a sauce pan, simmer on medium and stir constantly until thickened. Add Tellaggio cheese, salt, pepper and butter and set aside.

In a hot pan, sear salted and peppered veal chops until golden on the outside. Place in baking dish and roast in a 400 degree oven until level of doneness is achieved.

While that is cooking, saute chanterelle mushrooms and shallots in butter. When thoroughly cooked, deglaze pan with red wine. Reduce by 75%. Add beef stock and reduce by 50%. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add butter, letting it melt. Pour sauce over veal chop and polenta. Recipe sourced from Darms Lane Wine, Napa Valley.



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