Dutton Estate Winery
Green Valley AVA
This incredible Russian River Valley winery produces remarkable Pinot Noirs from the largest and most heralded vineyards in the entire state using sustainable farming practices.
The legend of Dutton Ranch and its fabulous fruit continues to grow (literally) and the list of awards and accolades earned by its vintners is too large to even count. Hundreds of wineries purchase Dutton Ranch fruit and a large number refer to its origin when producing finished wines.
This month’s Pinot Noir Wine Club selection has the added distinction of being produced by Dutton Ranch’s fifth-generation owners, Joe and Tracy Dutton through the aegis of their Dutton Estate Winery.
The actual location of Dutton Estate Winery is in the Green Valley AVA of the Russian River Valley. It was founded in 1995 with the intent of producing but two varietals, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. While Joe Dutton directs the rambling vineyards (more than 1200 acres of grapes and 200 acres of apples) and properties of Dutton Ranch, it is his partner and wife Tracy who oversees Dutton Estate Winery as her main function.
The pair were perfectly suited. Tracy’s family (the Kozlowski’s) were also farmers who built a prosperous business (mostly apples and berry-related items) from their location that just happened to border the original Dutton Ranch property. As in a Hollywood epic, the youngsters fell in love and married. The rest, as they say, is history.
“We realized early on,” recalled Joe Dutton, “that some of our vineyards were absolutely ideal for raising Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We saw how well others were doing with our fruit and decided to do our own thing. But we are like the other wineries in the respect that we are but one of the hundreds of customers buying fruit from Dutton Ranch. I admit we might have a bit of insight as to which fruit to buy, but practically all of the fruit is of a certain caliber and the awards our fruit and the resultant wines have garnered speak for themselves. We farm our dirt meticulously and feel it represents the best in terroir the Russian River Valley has to offer.”
Dutton Estate Winery has also become an extension of the Joe and Terry Dutton Family. Oldest daughter, Kyndall is the administrative coordinator and hospitality ambassador for Dutton Estate Winery. Kylie is the national brand ambassador as well as the harvest coordinator. Youngest daughter Karmen is also expected to join the family business in the near future.
“Our family is a team of forward-thinking farmers that binds succession for the future to sustain Sonoma County agriculture through our vineyards and our wines,” stated Tracy Dutton. “I feel very blessed.”
Map of the area
Robert "Bobby" Donnell - Winemaker
While Joe Dutton is considered winemaker, Robert ‘Bobby’ Donnell is Dutton Estate Winery’s consulting winemaker. Originally from just outside Dallas, Donnell joined the wine industry in 2000. Donnell has held jobs at some of Napa Valley’s top entities, Beringer Vineyards, St. Clement Vineyards, Provenance Vineyards. He obtained his Winemaking Certificate from famed UC Davis in 2009 and became assistant winemaker, then winemaker for Amici Cellars where he made some of the most celebrated and highly scored wines in Napa Valley.
At one point, Donnell found his true calling in crafting wines from the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals. He moved his family to Sebastopol (his wife is also a winemaker) to pursue his craft. In 2017, Bobby joined Dutton Estate Winery for what he considered ‘his dream job’ as a consulting winemaker and has made the most of his chance. He works closely with both Joe and Tracy Dutton (along with Terry Adams, Dutton’s original winemaker) in crafting the Dutton Estate Winery portfolio to rest among the very finest in California.