Get the Dirt about Dunning Vineyards from winemaker Bob Dunning

24 Oct

dunningpeople1. What was your first vintage year? 1994

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? 1400

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? Yes. We are located on the west side of Paso at 1953 Niderer Road. Open from Friday-Sunday, 11am-5pm.

4. How did you get your start in the winemaking business? First purchased grapes from James Berry vineyard in 1986 and then learned grape growing from them.

5. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? Westside Paso Robles Chardonnay grapes from James Berry Vineyard. Plus many visits to northern California wine regions.

6. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make?  Many…Chardonnay, Petite Sirah, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Pinot Noir. My new favorite is Petite Sirah…just amazing color and flavors.

dunningvineyard7. What vineyards do you source from? Why? Our wines come from mostly estate fruit. We are located in the “Willow Creek” sub AVA of Paso Robles. We chose this spot for the particular soils, unique elevation and coastal influence. We also source a bit of fruit (our Grenache and Petite Sirah) from nearby – 4 Hearts Vineyard – also in the “Willow Creek” District.

8. What type of oak treatment do you use? French Oak…only 25% or less new to allow for more refined flavors. Also use 500L larger format barrels.

9. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? You can still experiment here with grapes and blends. We are not locked into one type or style.

10. What’s the story behind your name/label? Two labels now. First is the 1900’s farmhouse that was on the property…second more modern screen-printed.

dunningbottleshots11. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? Cost! But it is worth it if you have the passion.

12. 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? Well try different things as you are not tied to just one style. More freedom to succeed and learn from your mistakes. Goal to make the best from the vineyards that you can.

13. How do you view the future in the wine industry for small-lot winemakers? People need to be open to try new wines…if that happens then we can support more of us.

14. If you had to choose another wine region to work in what would it be? No other place I’d rather be. Just love Paso.

To learn more about Dunning Vineyards, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK.

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