Pioneering, Family-Run Winery Commemorates 25 Years in Santa Barbara County with Limited Edition 25th Anniversary Cuvée, “Wine & Swine” Reception nd Exclusive Villa Tour
August 7, 2019 – Santa Ynez, CA – Sunstone Vineyards & Winery, one of the first organic vineyard estates in Santa Barbara County, is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its first vintage and the opening of its tasting room in 1994 with a public “Wine & Swine” themed reception at the Sunstone Estate on Saturday, August 17th, 2019.
The highly acclaimed winery, which specializes in Bordeaux and Rhône style wines, has also released a member-exclusive 25th Anniversary Cuvée and is offering the public a rare opportunity to experience the world-famous Sunstone Villa firsthand with a Tour and Tasting Experience available for just four dates in August and September.
The 25th Anniversary Reception, which runs from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM on August 17th will feature a pig roast, live 90’s music, a ceremony honoring well-known Sunstone “alumni” winemakers and a free raffle with 25 prizes. Tickets can be booked online and are available to the general public for $30 each, with Club Sunstone members receiving a discounted rate of $20 per ticket.
Second generation owner and winemaker Bion Rice, who has worked at his family’s winery since its inception, reflected on the growth and change at Sunstone over the past 25 years, saying “When our family planted the Sunstone vineyard in 1990, we knew that good wine started with caring for the land. I’m so proud that we have been able continue building upon my parents’ original vision of organic grape growing and crafting world-class wines here in the Santa Ynez Valley for such a long time.”
Sunstone’s 21-acre organic vineyard, planted to Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Viognier, is believed to be the oldest, continuously organically grown vineyard in Santa Barbara County. Rice said he anticipates re-planting parts of the vineyard over the next 3-5 years, including possibly adding new varietals such as Grenache and Petit Verdot. “As we plan for the winery’s future we look forward to growing beyond our current production level of 9,000 cases annually. We are excited to increase the yield of high-quality fruit coming from our own Estate” said Rice.
25th Anniversary Cuvée:
As a nod to its legacy of producing high-end, Bordeaux style blends, Sunstone released a limited edition, commemorative 25th Anniversary Cuvée exclusively to its club members on August 3rd, 2019 Comprised of 55% estate-grown Cabernet Franc and 45% estate-grown Merlot from the 2017 vintage, this special reserve blend was hand selected by Rice, consulting winemaker Matt Smith and assistant winemaker Jon Flores and bottled to just 279 cases.
Bryan Maroun, Sunstone’s General Manager for the last three years, said “Our members are the lifeblood of the Sunstone family, so we wanted to make something special for them to say thank you for their loyalty over the past 25 years.” The 25th Anniversary Cuvée’s distinctive bottle design features the Roman numerals “XXV” (25) screen printed vertically in gold.
Sunstone Villa Tour & Tasting Experience:
In addition to organic grape growing and world-class wines, Sunstone is also well-known for being home to The Sunstone Villa, an old world architectural masterpiece built from reclaimed materials and historical artifacts from various regions of France and completed in 2003.
The Villa is the private residence of the Rice family and is generally closed to the public. As part of the yearlong celebration of the winery’s 25th anniversary Sunstone is offering a limited time opportunity to experience the wonder of this world-famous, architectural gem. The Villa Tour & Tasting Experience is available at 1:00 PM on August 10th & 24th and September 14th and 21st for $80 per person ($55 for Club Sunstone members). Each session is limited to just 16 seats and features a guided tour of The Villa followed by a seated tasting of exclusive Sunstone Estate wines.
Sunstone Vineyards & Winery is open for tasting from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily. Tours require a prior reservation. More information about the history and wines of Sunstone Vineyards & Winery and its 25th Anniversary plans can be found at www.sunstonewinery.com.
ABOUT SUNSTONE VINEYARDS & WINERY:
Founded by the Rice Family in 1990 as one of the first organic vineyard estates in Santa Barbara County, Sunstone Vineyards & Winery is considered to be one of the most visually stunning winery estates in California. Named for the vineyard’s exposed sun-dappled shale and stones, Sunstone is a premier destination winery on the Central Coast and has been honored many times over for its superior guest experience and world-class Bordeaux and Rhône style wines. Based on the Rice Family’s values, Sunstone is an environmentally responsible company dedicated to organic grape growing, worker health, and recycling.