This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Dunstan Wines harvest party on the famed Durell vineyard in Sonoma. The harvest party was also a celebration of the release of the 2014 Durell Vineyard Chardonnay. This was my first time attending a Dunstan event and it certainly will not be my last!
My wife and I first tasted Dunstan’s Durell Pinot at our local wine shop, Whispering Vine. On our very next trip to Sonoma, we scheduled a tasting out at the ranch house on Durell and were hooked. We joined the club and now get 12 bottles of their amazing Pinot delivered every year. Being a club member has its other perks too, such as invites to their annual events like the harvest party.
Many wineries do harvest parties, but this one was head and shoulders above. Dunstan brought their A game.
The harvest party was set at their gorgeous ranch house on Durell. I can’t really do justice to this setting with words, so I’ve included more pictures than usual in this post. The party was in full swing when we arrived. We were provided raffle tickets and sent on our way to enjoy awesome passed appetizers, amazing mini pulled pork sliders and grilled cheese sandwiches with spicy tomato jam. The food was fantastic, but the wine was the main event. A bar set up just down from the house was pouring the newly released 2014 Chardonnay as well as the 2013 Pinot Noir. We dove right into the Chardonnay and made our way to one of the many sitting areas to take in the views.
After sampling a few of the snacks and downing the Chardonnay, we headed back to grab our favorite – the Pinot Noir. Amazing and fruity, the Dunstan Pinot is consistently a winner. I honestly have not had a bad bottle of their juice. After the Pinot, we were directed into the root stock cellar to try the surprise of the day. The 2012 Durell Syrah. This wine was only produced for one vintage as the vines were ripped up and replanted with Chardonnay shortly after harvest that year. It was truly a treat to be able to try this wine due to its rarity. Plus, it was amazing. Tons of fruit, great barrel age, well rounded, soft yet full. Simply an awesome bottle of wine. Shivani said she wanted to make out with it.
Root Stock Cellar at Dunstan Vineyards.
2012 Dunstan Syrah posing in the Root Stock Cellar.
Of course, another component of these type of events is meeting the folks behind the wine. I had a great time chatting with the owners and main marketing man Jim. These people are very passionate about what they do and it was fun to just be around their excitement. We sat back on the porch, enjoyed more wine, took in the views and then it was time for the raffle. Unfortunately, our crew didn’t take any of the prizes home, but three lucky people received a magnum of Chardonnay, a Jeroboam of Pinot and a two night stay at the ranch house on Durell!
After a little more unneeded sipping….I loaded up our purchases (had to buy some of the Syrah) and stumbled my way out of there. The wine gods were watching over me when I dropped my precious cargo in the driveway – nothing broke! I may have been overserved….
The harvest party was an amazing event and I suggest that anyone who loves great Pinot/Chardonnay jump on the Dunstan bandwagon to secure not only great wine, but an invite to the event next year. Thanks for the amazing hospitality Dunstan team!