Joe Dutton, Founder, Dutton Estate Winery & Owner, Dutton Ranch
Joe Dutton was born and raised near the town of Sebastopol on his family’s ranch in the Green Valley. In 1964, five years before Joe was born, his parents, Warren and Gail purchased a parcel of property near the little town of Graton just outside of Sebastopol. The property was planted to French Colombard wine grapes and apples. Warren and Gail and named this land DUTTON RANCH. Joe became interested in the family business as a young boy. He grew up picking apples; operating the farm equipment and helping his father oversee the orchards and expanding vineyards every day after school and during summer vacations. Upon graduating from high school, Joe immediately pursued the family farming operation. By staying on the ranch and working beside his father, Joe’s intuitive vision to grow the family vineyard holdings was unlimited. With Joe’s tireless dedication, perseverance and hard work, today Dutton Ranch consists of eighty parcels of property, totaling 1400 acres. 1200 acres of grapes consist of chardonnay, pinot noir, syrah, sauvignon blanc, and a few acres of Zinfandel and Pinot Gris. California Certified Organic Apple comprise the remaining acreage farmed, and the majority of the properties are within the Green Valley-Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast wine growing regions. The Dutton Ranch headquarters are located on the original “home ranch”, planted to Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc as well as several variety of organic apples. The “home ranch”, which is also referred to as “Shop Block”, currently grows the oldest chardonnay vines in west Sonoma County, planted by Joe’s father in 1967. Download and read complete bio.
Tracy Dutton, Founder & President, Dutton Estate Winery
Tracy Dutton was born and raised in Sebastopol, California where her grandparents, Tony and Carmen Kozlowski established Kozlowski Farms in 1949. At a young age, Tracy began working with her family, picking fresh berries and apples, making jam, and baking with her grandmother. She quickly learned the many tasks of the family’s booming roadside fruit stand and farm store along the main highway passing through the, now prestigious, growing region, as vacationers traveled from all over to the famed Russian River Valley Resort areas. Tracy worked from the “ground up,” and at 16, she managed the family’s retail store that expanded from fresh berries and apples to more than 70 food products produced on the family’s farm, freshly baked pies, and a Sonoma County gift basket shipping business throughout the country. As Tracy mastered retail operations, she began regional travels after school and on weekends to promote and sell Kozlowski Farms’ products. Regional travels quickly led to national sales within two years.
In 1992, Tracy studied Marketing at California State University Chico and transferred to Sonoma State to finish her studies in Economics. Upon graduation, Tracy returned to Kozlowski Farms with a full-time position in accounting and enjoyed opportunities to travel with Carol Kozlowski, her mom, Vice President of Sales for the family business. During this time, she met and married the boy from the ranch next door, Joe Dutton.
As a young couple, Joe and Tracy each worked with their respective family businesses - Dutton Ranch and Kozlowski Farms. The couple was the “talk of the town”, as many considered Joe and Tracy’s story the “American Dream.” Joe and Tracy made their home in a little farmhouse with a vineyard they named, Dutton Palms Vineyard. The property, which remains their home today, is nestled among several of the Dutton Ranch vineyards and is across the country road from Dutton Ranch headquarters. After the birth of Kyndall, Tracy and Joe’s first daughter in 1994, the couple saw an opportunity and was inspired to start a business in which their children could work alongside them and that would celebrate their agricultural heritage. In 1995, Dutton Estate Winery was born.
Tracy and Joe purchased the 20-acre Chardonnay vineyard, tasting room, and barn along the same highway stretching through Russian River Valley’s Green Valley region, situated one and a half miles north of Kozlowski Farms and two miles northeast of Dutton Ranch. The vineyard Joe and Tracy purchased was planted to Chardonnay grapes and was farmed by Dutton Ranch and under the care Warren and Joe Dutton. The inaugural release was 1000 cases of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Today, Tracy oversees and manages the daily operations of Dutton Estate Winery. The winery produces 5,000 cases for Dutton Estate. In addition, the winery property includes a tasting room, Chardonnay vineyard, and a mid-size winemaking facility. Dutton Estate’s custom crush clients comprise several high-end Sonoma and Napa wine producers
“Creating a business for my children to grow into has been my dream since I was a little girl. I am extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to develop a business where I could raise my three daughters, Kyndall, Kylie, and Karmen. I found it rewarding to balance the challenges of my daily life of making a home for my family, being “a farmer’s wife,” and an involved mother in my daughters’ lives and activities, all the while, building a successful business. For me, success is not defined by my business, rather, the achievement of my successful dream. Together, Joe and I created a family and a business that our grown children are working with us in today. Our family is a team of forward-thinking farmers that binds succession for the future to sustain Sonoma County agriculture through our vineyards and our wines. I feel very blessed.” Email Tracy
Kylie Dutton, National Brand Ambassador & Winemaker’s Assistant
Kylie received her Bachelors Degree from University of Arizona in Tucson studying Economy and Industry with a focus in Agribusiness Economics and recieved a Certificate in Agriculture Leadership and Innovation. Kylie left her heart in Sonoma County’s wine country when she began her adventure to Arizona. With a population of over a half-million people, Tucson was the ‘big city life’ for a country girl that grew up in a town of 7,000 people. Kylie quickly appreciated her country boots and hometown roots living a block from a large university of 40,000 students. There were many days melting in Arizonas heat, and Kylie yerned for country life to ride her ATV in the open space of vast vineyards and orchards at home in Sonoma County. Kylie had a passion for teaching her college friends about wine, and the nuances wine offers from grape to glass. She enjoyed educating others about farming wine grapes, winemaking processes and characteristics of a barrel, a bottle and a glass of wine. Kylie appreciated the rare and unique life that was at home and realized the career opportunity awaiting her. Upon college graduation, Kylie chose to focus her natural passion of wine education to enhance her Business and Economics degree and return to Dutton Estate Winery. Enjoying new adventures and travel, Kylie is the winery's National Brand Ambassador educating the trade and consumers, while expressing her love of wine and hands-on with winery operations as Harvest Coordinator. As a six-generation farmer, Kylie is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and agri-business in Sonoma County through winemaking at Dutton Estate Winery and continued land preservation through her family’s vineyards and orchards at Dutton Ranch. Kylie is also a lifetime member of her college sorority Alpha Phi. Email Kylie
Robert (Bobby) Donnell, Consulting Winemaker
Born and raised outside of Dallas, Texas, Bobby Donnell traveled to Lubbock to obtain his B.S. in Restaurant and Hotel Management from Texas Tech University. While attending college he also helped start a fast-growing restaurant business. A visit to California in the summer of 2000 changed everything; he fell hard for northern California’s climate and beauty, and for his wife Shannon, who was finishing up her viticulture degree at UC Davis, and who would become his first link into the wine industry.
Immersing himself in the world of wine, Bobby first worked at Beringer as a Lab Tech and Cellar Hand, followed by a full-time cellar position at St. Clement Vineyards in St. Helena, where winemaker Aaron Pott became a mentor. After St. Clement, Bobby went to work at Provenance Vineyards, where he helped manage the Lab and Cellar operations for 6 years. He went back to school at the same time, earning his Winemaking Certificate from UC Davis in 2009.
In 2012 Bobby joined Amici Cellars as the Assistant Winemaker and was quickly promoted to Winemaker. During his time at Amici Cellars he created wines from some of the best vineyards in Napa Valley, such as To Kalon and Missouri Hopper. Along with hand crafting Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, Bobby had the opportunity to produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley. This is when Bobby found his calling, producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley, was a true passion. At the same time, Bobby and his family found a home here in the Russian River, moving back to his wife’s hometown of Sebastopol. Here, they are closer to the land that they love, and where they want to raise their three children, Savannah, Logan and Norah.
In summer of 2017, when Bobby was asked to join the Dutton Estate team as the Consulting Winemaker, it was an easy decision. This was his dream job… producing small lot Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, from Estate Grown Vineyards and working with one of the best-known families in Sonoma County. He considers himself lucky for this opportunity!
German Zavalla, Cellar Master
German began his career in 2000, when he began working with his father in Alexander Valley. He learned the art of pruning, trellising, leafing, learning about the terroir and the excitement and adrenaline that accompanies grape harvest. By 2004, he was offered a position in the cellar, where he performed tasks from washing barrels, to the finer skilled tasks of post fermentation additions, etc. With barrel maintenance, to winery sanitization procedures that come along with assisting winemaker to-do task’s, German was quick to learn the detailed involvement it takes to make great wine.
In 2008, German moved to the “Dutton Valley”, when he married his wife, Griselda. Griselda’s father has been the Foreman for Dutton Ranch for nearly 50 years. German, somewhat married into the Dutton Family. In 2010, German began working for Dutton Estate Winery as Cellar Master and working with the winery’s consulting winemaker, Terry Adams.
“Working with the Dutton Family has allowed me to develop my knowledge in the winemaking business and creating handcrafted wines. My duties as their Cellar Master is making sure that all winemaking tasks are completed in a quality and timely manner. I take pride to ensure great quality wine to represent the Dutton Family and their fruit. Aside from making wine, I really love talking to our guests and taking visitors on tours of the working winery. This allows me to share my passion that I have for making wine.” ~ German Zavala
Elizabeth Miller, Director of Consumer Sales, Wine Club & Hospitality
After years of selling wine through New York restaurants and retail shops, Elizabeth pursued her dream and came out to wine country to live and work amongst the grapevines.
Elizabeth had an early career in English as a Second Language education teaching both in Japan and for the New York City public school system. While teaching, she started moonlighting at the renowed farm-to-table restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Westchester County, NY, where she received the first of a formal wine education. Elizabeth continued to study with the American Sommelier Association in New York City, and also acquired the Certified Specialist of Wine and Certified Specialist of Spirits designations through the Society of Wine Educators. She served for years as General Manager of Vintology Wine & Spirits in Scarsdale, NY, and also instructed students in the Certified Specialist of Wine certification program for the Westchester Wine School.
Elizabeth began to feel antsy to live in the place where the bottle begins and decided to pursue a dream. She relocated to California wine country in 2017 and first took a role as DTC Director with a historic family owned producer on Howell Mountain in Napa Valley, and also served on the Board of Directors of the Napa Valley Hospitality Forum. Feeling at home in Sonoma County, she joined the Dutton Estate Winery team in 2019 and proudly promotes these wonderful Russian River Valley wines that she has for so long called her favorites! Email Elizabeth
Terry Adams, Retired, Consulting Winemaker 2010 - 2017
As Consulting Winemaker, Terry Adams was directly responsible for guiding the Dutton Estate Winery’s wine program. Terry took over winemaking duties with the 2010 vintage and retired in August 2017 when he completed the 2016 with bottling. Working hand in hand with Tracy & Joe Dutton, Terry shared their commitment in allowing the expression of the terroir from the selected estate family vineyards at Dutton Ranch to shine through.
Terry’s illustrious career dates back to 1981 when he began his winemaking trek at Sonoma-Cutrer. In 1991, after spending 10 years under the tutelage of the winery’s founding winemaker, Terry took over as Director of Winemaking where he stayed until his retirement in the summer of 2010. Over the years, Terry has refined his personal winemaking style and philosophy, enhancing his three decades of experience in the vineyard and cellar with regular forays to Burgundy, where he exchanges ideas with some of the finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir producers.
These days when Terry is not working the stressful days of crush, he enjoys traveling the coast in is vintage Streamline motor home or fly fishing the streams of the great Northwest. Asked why he decided to “partially postpone retirement” Terry said, “Back in 2005 while enjoying a bottle of Dutton Estate Chardonnay I said to myself, I can see myself making wine at Dutton Estate.” Although not sure why he had these thoughts back then, he never questioned the opportunity when Joe & Tracy Dutton came a knocking requesting his artistic services to produce the family wines. Together Joe, Tracy and Terry have fused together over a 100 year of combined farming and winemaking experience to create some of the best wines Sonoma County offers.
Our family is six generations of forward-thinking Sonoma County farmers. Joe and Tracy’s agricultural heritage is deeply rooted in Sonoma County, and wanted that same experience for their three daughters. Meet the Family.
Our prestigious fruit is derived from our family’s appraised farming operation, Dutton Ranch. Our vineyards are located in the heart of Green Valley’s Russian River Valley, and just 15 miles from Sonoma Coasts’ Pacific Ocean. Explore our Vineyards.
Surrounded by friends and family, Dutton Estate Winery has a warm group of winemakers, chefs and administrators who are dedicated to bring visitors the ultimate winery experience. Meet the Team.
The Dutton Estate winemaking team work hand in hand, sharing their commitment to allow the expression of the terroir from the selected estate family vineyards. Learn About Our Winemaking.