Twenty years ago, Joe Dutton looked at Tracy, his wife of one year, and said, “Do you want to start a winery?” Her reaction was swift, and with a “well, okay!” Dutton Estate Winery was born. Twenty years later, Dutton Estate is a thriving winery, making high-quality award-winning wines and housed near the town of Sebastopol on Green Valley Road and Hwy 116 that they purchased in 1995.
“When we founded the winery,” Tracy Dutton, President of Dutton Estate Winery said, “I was pregnant with our first daughter Kyndall…now Kyndall is starting her junior year of college. The time has flown!” “When I look at the last 20 years, it’s amazing to see how our lives have been intertwined with Dutton Estate. It’s a part of all of us. I wanted to build the winery around raising our three daughters while being an active Mom in their lives.” Tracy went on to say, “Our daughters grew up with the business…it’s a legacy that we wanted to establish for them”. Certainly Dutton Estate is all about family legacies: the three Dutton daughters are all named after their top-selling wines (Kyndall’s Reserve Chardonnay, Kylie’s Cuvee Sauvignon Blanc, and Karmen Isabella Pinot Noir, respectively). My Father’s Vineyard is named after Tracy’s father, and Warren’s Collection was named after the founding father of Dutton Ranch, Warren Dutton.
Many people who worked and grew up around West County knew Warren, who passed away in 2001. “He was the nicest, most humble and helpful man that you ever could have met. Anytime anyone needed help with their vineyards or orchards, Warren was right there helping them. He put his sons to work too,” said Tracy. Joe is co-owner and co-operates Dutton Ranch: 1400 acres of land mainly in the Green Valley in the Russian River Valley. Joe Dutton, a 5th generation in agriculture in Sonoma County said, “We farm about 1200 acres of grapes and about 200 of organic apples. We keep a small amount of grapes for all of the estate wines at Dutton Estate while about 95% are sold to about 65 wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties”.
Tracy Dutton, who has an economics degree from Sonoma State University, grew up in West County as well, albeit a different area of agriculture. “My grandmother is Carmen Kozlowski who founded Kozlowski Farms. Growing up around that business, I felt prepared for the work that it would take to get the winery off the ground”. Tracy went on to say, “I love to see our winery thriving now. We’re a boutique winery producing about 4,000 cases a year in addition to our custom crush winery operation. It feels like a close family – I’m able to be involved in every aspect of the business”. That down-to-earth home feel extends to their customers as well. “We really like people to feel at home when they come to visit us.”
That down-home feel begins with complementary food pairings to Dutton Estate’s wines. “We like to support this area, so we have local cheeses, salami, and other bites that are matched to our wines. Fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies from Kozlowski Farms are baked daily, and paired with our Sweet Sisters Late Harvest Syrah. People appreciate our hospitality and love learning why certain foods pair well with certain wines,” Tracy said.
For the 20th Anniversary, Dutton Estate is releasing a new style of Chardonnay under the Warren’s Collection label. It’s the first wine that was fermented in a concrete tank shaped like an egg. “This winery has always been about new beginnings”, Tracy said. “It’s only fitting that we pay homage to Warren in our new style of chardonnay”. When asked if Warren would like it, Joe said, “I think he would have loved it – he would have been so happy to see us trying new things and most especially seeing how our family has grown up in the business. He would be proud”. “In addition to the new style of Chardonnay,” Tracy added, “we are releasing a new Pinot Noir called La Familia. It is a representation of vineyards that brings our two families together as one”.
The anniversary celebrations are kicking off on Saturday, July 11…….. party info here
About Dutton Estate
8757 Green Valley Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472