Get the Dirt about Dunites Wine Co. from winemaker Tyler Eck

11 Jan

Duniteslabel1. What was your first vintage year? 2015

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? Approx. 100 cases of the 2015 vintage. Up to about 200 cases for 2017.

3. Do you have a Tasting Room?
No, but happy to host people who are interested in tasting.

4. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? Not sure what made me want to become a winemaker or start a wine brand, but the first bottle of Cornas I ever had, a 2006 Clape, made me want to make Syrah.

5. What is your favorite varietal to work with? Syrah! Also have some Grenache coming in the future.

6. What vineyards do you source from? Why? Predominantly Spanish Springs vineyard because of its unique location, soils, and cool climate

7. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why?
Neutral French oak of varying sizes to showcase the purity of fruit and savory characteristics of cool climate Syrah.

8. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? The coastal vineyards along the Central Coast produce vibrant wines with lots of energy and an abundance of fruit. We often end up with wines that show lots of cool climate characteristics but also have richness and are balanced by high natural acidity. And we have the best friends and colleagues who love the local food and wine as well as exploring up and down the coast.


9. What’s the story behind your winery name / label? The Dunites were a depression era collection of artists, poets, free thinkers, and nudists who lived in the local coastal dunes. For a brief period they produced a magazine and we designed our label with inspiration from their magazine covers and using original artwork by our good friend Teddy Fuller.

10. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? To produce and sell just a hundred cases of wine you are held to the same compliance and regulatory standards as the biggest wineries. Most of the work I do on my own brand would be better suited for an accountant, lawyer, or computer scientist.

11. Most importantly, what’s so great about being small? What can you do as a small winemaker, that wouldn’t be possible for larger wineries? I can take risks that I would never do with my full time job. If something doesn’t work out I just lose the money I invested and a little bit of pride. Overall I can define the style I want the brand to be in and do whatever I think will produce the best wine possible.

12. How do you view the future in the wine industry for small-lot winemakers? With all of the consolidation taking place among distributors and larger wineries hopefully there will be a push back at the consumer level and people will keep seeking out more artisan and naturally crafted wines by smaller producers.

13. If you had to choose another wine region to work in what would it be? After working harvests in a handful of regions around the world I can happily say that I am right where I want to be. Although if I had to go somewhere else to live and work, Margaret River in Western Australia would be pretty tough to beat.

For more information, please visit their website.

Comments are closed.