Wine Club Appreciation weekend along Route 116 near Santa Rosa is a great time to get reacquainted with an amazing group of boutique wineries. A recent sunny Sunday found us with our commemorative wine glasses in hand and club medallions around our neck. Our next winery to savor: Dutton Estate Winery.
Following a great first tasting at Balletto Vineyards, we drove a short way down the road to Dutton Estate Winery. Our past visits had be a lot of fun, so there was anticipation in the air as found a place to park in the ample lot and walked past an antique wine press and an equally well-aged diesel tractor to the tasting room.
Once inside, we met wine guide Jeff and got started with our tasting. Jeff first poured a Sauvignon Blanc, perfectly presented with grapefruit and Meyer lemon notes and a snapping-crisp finish. We learned some new terms, like “west county” and “Green Valley MicroAVA” as Jeff described their wines. We tasted their 2015 Karmen Isabella Pinot Noir, a blend of their three Pinots. We were blown away! A full-bodied Pinot, with fruit up front, chased by earth and cherry, with cola notes on the finish. A real standard bearer for Russian River Pinots.
We sipped on some Pinot and retired to the beautiful patio to consider their Wine Club program. We learned that there are three levels of membership possible, at different commitments regarding shipment quantities. Each level offers purchase discounts, access to limited release and library wines, invitations to exclusive club events, and free tastings.
The Collectors Club offers 25% case discounts and a 20% discount on 1-11 bottles, based on receiving a case of wine three times a year (February, April, and October). The Estate Club offers 20% case discounts (15% for less than case quantities) for half-case shipments three time a year, and the Reserve Club members get 15% off on all purchases when receiving three shipments of four bottles. Lots of choices to fit every size of wine cellar.
With our tasting flight complete, we said goodbye to Jeff and headed off toward our next tasting. There was a lot of sunny Sunday still before us!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?