Dutton Estate Winery is in the Green Valley AVA in the Russian River Valley located near the small charming town of Sebastopol. Once a dominant apple-growing region, Sebastopol is now a destination hide-away and home to the winery’s founders, Joe and Tracy Dutton.
Joe and Tracy’s agricultural heritage is deeply rooted in Sebastopol, as Tracy’s great-grandparents began farming apples in the 1920’s and today continues growing apples and grapes at the family’s recognized farm and food production facility, Kozlowski Farms, in Forestville. Joe is co-owner of Dutton Ranch, which was founded in 1964 by his parents. Today, Dutton Ranch farms 1300 acres of grapes and 250 acres of apples, all within the Green Valley-Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations. Both Joe and Tracy valued their experience growing up and wanted a business that their three girls could be part of. Joe is a driving force in the vineyards and continues to manage the vineyards at Dutton Ranch. Tracy oversees the winery and the three girls can be seen helping out at events.
Dutton Estate wine program began with the 2002 vintage. They farm over eighty unique, separate vineyards located in the cool areas of the Russian River Valley, primarily in the sub-appellation of Green Valley. The line was designed to showcase the Dutton’s love for single vineyard wines that reflect the individuality of each vineyard site. Opting for low-impact winemaking techniques helps bring out the true taste of the vineyards. All wines (a total of 10 to 11 cuvées) show the terroir of the estate vineyards.
Farming practices: The Duttons safeguard the health of their fruit while limiting chemical applications and other intrusions on the natural farming process. They employ an entomologist who visits every vineyard weekly, alert to leaf hoppers, mites, sharpshooters or other unwanted pests. They consider the history of each ranch, the legendary coastal fog and other climatic trends, and the population of native insect predators. Then they make a choice for the lowest-impact intervention that will still achieve results.
As the Duttons expand to new ranches, they often find themselves cleaning up after the sins of others, clearing creeks and hills of old cars and other debris. They make erosion control a constant priority. And recycling plays a major role at Dutton Ranch. Into the bins go all glass, plastic, paper, oil, batteries and card board. Joe Dutton is a board member of the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District, and the ranch plays host to regular seminars on such topics as sustainable farming.