Founder’s Club Newsletter – Winter 2024

Founder's Club

Winter 2024


Happy New Year!  By now you’ve probably read through last week’s two exciting announcements regarding Sunstone’s 30th Anniversary and the major enhancements to your wine club membership.  For those that missed the announcements, here is a brief recap.

Enhanced Membership Benefits

The Sunstone Wine Club has gotten a makeover for the first time since 2019!  We have taken your feedback and upgraded our membership options to provide you with even more benefits, savings, and flexibility.  New benefits include:

  • Bottle Swap– Customize your club order by swapping out a bottle for one of equal or lesser value.
  • Sunstone Rewards– Earn points on every dollar you spend, redeemable for wine purchases.
  • Hotel & Villa Discounts– Save up to 25% off stays at select Santa Ynez Valley hotels and the Sunstone Villa.
  • Vertical Shipments– In 2024, Founder’s Club members will receive three special shipments of “vertical” sets of our three flagship wines.

**You are enrolled in the Founder’s Club. To see all your benefits and compare them to the Signature and Reserve Club levels, please review this comparison chart.**

Sunstone’s 30th Anniversary

In 1994, four years after the first wine grapes were planted, a modest horse barn on the Estate was replaced by a rustic, Provence-style tasting room and Sunstone Winery was born! We will be commemorating our 30th Anniversary in 2024 with a yearlong celebration with exclusive events, tastings, and offers, including:

  • Specially Crafted 30thAnniversary wine
  • 30thAnniversary Celebration: August 2nd-4th
  • Enhanced Wine Club Membership Benefits
  • Exclusive “Verticals” for Founder’s Members

Let’s raise our glasses high and toast to 30 years of unforgettable memories. Here’s to the past, present, and future – to continued excellence and the joy of sharing it with you.

Your February Shipment & Eros Weekend

On to the details of your next wine shipment!  As longtime members know, the February shipment is the most anticipated release of the year because it includes Eros, our flagship Bordeaux blend named for the Greek god of love!  We hope you can join us on Eros Weekend from February 9th to 11th.

This year, Founder’s Club members will receive a special Eros vertical set, while Signature and Reserve members will receive special reserve Library wines in addition to Eros.

Thank you again for your continued support.  Read below for more details on all the wines in your upcoming release. Cheers!

Wine Bottle

2023 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve (Mixed Clubs Only)

Retail: $45.00

Grape Blend and Source100% Sauvignon Blanc
Nolan Vineyard, Alisos Canyon AVA
Technical SpecsPH: 3.54
Acidity: 6.7 g/L
Alcohol: 14.5%
Case Production164
Winemaking NotesThe grapes for our 2023 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve were harvested from Block #31 at Nolan Ranch Vineyard in the Alisos Canyon AVA on October 10th, 2023. Our winemaking team whole-cluster pressed the juice into a stainless-steel tank and then inoculated the juice to ferment for 12 days. Our winemaker’s yeasts of choice were MSB and CY3079, which together enhance the sensory depth consisting of floral, lemongrass, dried mango, lychee, stone fruit, melon, lemon, green apple, grapefruit. The CY3079 yeast promotes and enhances the viscosity of the wine and characters of salted toasted almond, honeycomb, rich butter, and pineapple. The MSB yeast is a traditional New Zealand yeast that enhances this crisp, dry Sauvignon Blanc's minerality, lemongrass, melon, green apple, and floral expressions. The 394 gallons of Sauvignon Blanc were bottled to 164 cases in December 2023.
Tasting NotesThe 2023 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve has an elegant bouquet of tropical fruit, cantaloupe, lychee, and guava with delicate aromas of dried mango, grapefruit, honeycomb, and lemongrass. From the front to mid-palate, this wine exhibits characteristics of green apple, clay minerality, white peach, and salted toasted almonds and a citrusy, lingering finish.
Food PairingSpicy Prawn Courgette Salad with Avocado Citrus Mint Dressing
CellaringThe 2023 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve can be enjoyed now and for up to an additional 18 months if stored in proper conditions. It is not a candidate for long term aging.
Wine Bottle

2021 Eros

Retail: $80.00

Grape Blend and Source80% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon
Sunstone Estate Vineyard
Technical SpecsPH: 3.56
Acidity: 5.3 g/L
Alcohol: 14%
Case Production2,375
Winemaking NotesThe varietals for the 2021 Eros, our flagship, Right Bank Bordeaux-style blend, were hand-harvested from the Sunstone Estate vineyard and its designated blocks during October 2021. Our winemaking team crushed the fruit, fermented each lot individually, and blended it later in the aging process. The wine was fermented using an assortment of yeast, including BM45 and RC212, and nutrients to balance the complexity of layers. Secondary bacteria was then added before completing primary fermentation to produce a round mouthfeel and soften the tannin structure. The varietals for Eros were blended together in May 2022, then racked to 75% neutral, 25% new French oak barrels and aged until being bottled to 2,375 cases in December 2023.
Tasting NotesSophisticated aromas of dark berries, black tea, espresso, and agave nectar are accented by spice and pepper notes. Velvety and well-structured on the palate with a smooth mouthfeel broadcasting blackberry, cocoa nibs, espresso, cloves, dark cherry, and fresh figs before culminating in a warm, spicy finish.
Food PairingPappardelle Butternut Squash Pasta drizzled with sage butter, portobello mushroom, roasted tomato, and slow-cooked beef ragu
CellaringThe 2021 Eros can be enjoyed now and for an additional 8-15 years if stored in proper conditions.
Wine Bottle

2020 Eros

Retail: $80.00

Grape Blend and Source86% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon 
Sunstone Estate Vineyard
Technical SpecsPH: 3.74
Acidity: 5.3 g/L
Alcohol: 13.8%
Case Production514
Winemaking NotesSunstone’s 2020 Eros varietals were hand harvested from the Estate vineyard and its designated blocks during the month of October 2020. Our team crushed the fruit and fermented each lot individually and blended later in the aging process. The wine was fermented by using an assortment of yeast such as BM45, RC212 and D80 and nutrients to balance the complexity of layers. We then added the secondary bacteria prior to completing primary fermentation, which allows for a round mouth feel and softens tannin structure. The Eros was blended, racked to barrel, and aged until April 2021 and bottled in December 2022.
Tasting NotesOur flagship Bordeaux blend wine, Eros. With lush fruity, floral aromas consisting of blackberry, lavender, figs, black pepper, earthy tones, cherry, anise, and cloves. The body of this wine consists of blackberry, black licorice, black tea, peppercorn, cloves, figs, lavender, dark coffee bean, and cocoa nibs. A great companion to a fine meal.
Food PairingSlow Cooked Lamb, Red Curry Kale Stir Fry, with Creamy Three Cheese Polenta
CellaringThe 2020 Eros can be enjoyed now and for an additional 8-15 years if stored in proper conditions.
Wine Bottle

2019 Eros

Retail: $80.00

Grape Blend and Source70% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon
Sunstone Estate Vineyard
Technical SpecsPH: 3.74
Acidity: 5.0 g/L
Alcohol: 14.8%
Case Production814
Winemaking NotesEros is our flagship Right Bank Bordeaux-inspired blend, named after the Greek god of love, and made of fruit entirely from six blocks of the Sunstone Estate, including Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes for the 2019 Sunstone Eros were hand harvested from from each block separately within 16 days in October 2019. We then crushed the fruit to tank, and barrel aged them in 30% new French oak. As we created our trial blends we tasted through each merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon block and blended to taste by layering these separately fermented varietals from vineyard terroir, fermentation, specific casks chosen to make this flagship right hand crafted 2019 vintage. This Eros was sent through full malolactic fermentation (approximately 98%) to reduce the malic acid sharp acidity. Our “six block blended wine” was aged in 30% new French oak casks and 70% neutral French oak barrels for 20 months before being bottled to 814 cases on December 10, 2021.
Tasting NotesThis estate blend is quite subtle on the nose at first, offering elderberry, blackberry, pepper and light oak. The palate pops with an herbal core of bay leaf and eucalyptus, giving an edge to the cranberry and strawberry flavors.
Food PairingSpicy & Smoked orange peel molasses’s brown sugar thyme cabernet franc glazed spareribs w/braised mustard carrots, dill baked peas, shredded parmesan over mustard or macro greens.
CellaringThe 2019 Eros can be enjoyed now and may be enhanced for up to an additional 10-12 years if stored in proper conditions.

Important Dates

Last Day to:

Customize Shipments
Update Credit Cards
Change Address

January 29

Credit Cards are Charged

January 30

Club Orders Available for Pickup

February 9

Non-pickup orders Shipped out

February 12