Sunstone Club Newsletter- Fall 2020


Like the classic Andy Williams song says, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”  While Andy was talking about Christmas, we think that way about Harvest, which is going on right now.  Despite all of the challenges our world has faced in 2020, this year’s grape harvest is shaping up to be one of our best.  Our winemakers and cellar team are bringing in a record 200+ tons of premium quality fruit not only from our own Estate vineyard but many other esteemed vineyards throughout Santa Barbara County.  You can look forward to enjoying the whites and rosés from this harvest early next year and the reds in 2022.

Many of you have asked whether our harvest has been affected by any of the recent wildfires across the state. We are happy to report that all of our grapes are in great shape and we have not experienced any adverse effects at all.  Many of our colleagues in other wine regions have not been as fortunate, and we are wishing them the best during this difficult time.

Looking ahead, there is new light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the current Health Department restrictions around COVID-19.  Santa Barbara County recently entered the “Red” phase of California’s Re-Opening Guidelines and may possibly enter the less restrictive “Orange” phase by the end of this month. When we enter this phase, we will be able to open indoors again.  For those of you that have been able to join us for an outdoor experience over the past few months, it has been great to see you.  For those that cannot join us in person at this time, we hope your quarterly wine club shipments will keep you connected to us from afar until you are able to join us here again. Thank you for your continued patience and support.

In addition to the new releases in this shipment (detailed below), we wanted to make you aware of several more exciting benefits available to you now and in the future!

  • New Online Account Management- We recently replaced our account management system to give you much more convenience and flexibility to manage your membership online.  You can now manage all of your reservations, online orders, and club shipments in one place.  And no more trying to remember what your password is- you can login with your Google or Facebook account!
  • Upgraded Wi-Fi-  Last week, construction was completed on a new high speed Fiber internet line into the Estate that has significantly expanded the speed and coverage of our guest Wi-Fi.  With this investment, you will notice a major improvement when you’re using the Wi-Fi to share photos of your Sunstone experience on social media, schedule an Uber, or simply use Sunstone as your remote office!
  • Virtual Tastings on Demand-  “Live” online events are great, but the feedback we’ve received is that you would prefer to view our content on a schedule that is convenient for you.  So, we’ve created a YouTube channel where you can access virtual tastings and other videos on demand anytime. Make sure to Subscribe to our channel so you’re notified each time new videos are posted.
  • New Member Lounge- While the Health Department’s prohibition on indoor service has delayed the opening of our new member tasting lounge, it is still in the works. The project is about 80% complete and we look forward to telling you more about it in the very near future!
  • 2021 Events- We are looking forward to the likely resumption of events again next year, pending Health Department approval.  We have begun planning for Eros in February, STOMP in the Fall, and many other great experiences that we will share with you once restrictions are lifted.

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




Retail: $30

GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE100% Grenache Blanc
La Presa Vineyard
Acidity: 5.13 g/L
Alcohol: 14.8%
4 months in 100% stainless steel
TASTING NOTESEnticing aromas of lemongrass, honeydew and orange peel are complemented by tropical notes of pineapple and passion fruit. On the palate, this wine is light and dry with notes of white pepper, papaya and grapefruit and a "green" citrusy finish.
WINEMAKINGThe Grenache Blanc fruit was hand harvested in October 2019, whole cluster pressed to tank where the wine was fermented and aged in 100% Stainless steel for 4 months, then bottled on February 26, 2020. 236 cases produced.
FOOD PAIRINGStuffed Artichoke with Tuna, and Sourdough Breadcrumbs topped with Salsa Cruda.
CELLARINGThe 2019 Grenache Blanc can be enjoyed now and for the next 12-18 months. It is not a candidate for long term aging.



Retail: $65

Sunstone Estate Vineyard
Acidity: 5.92g/L
Alcohol: 14.4%
22 months in 80% neutral/20% new French oak
TASTING NOTESA complex nose of tobacco leaves, anise, and black licorice with subdued notes of dark fruit, including blackberry fruit leather, figs and plums. Black pepper, boysenberries and currants are layered on the palate with chocolate and coffee notes, grippy tannins and a long finish.
WINEMAKINGThe Merlot was hand harvested from four blocks at Sunstone Vineyard during different dates, at sunrise, by the end of October 2019, fermented for 12 days from crush/must to wine and aged in 20% new French oak, prior to bottling on August 1, 2020. 675 cases produced.
FOOD PAIRINGRabbit alla Cacciatora Barese (cast iron pan braising, with liver, heart and kidneys slow cook with tomatoes, mushroom, carrots, potatoes and wine to make reduction).
CELLARINGThe 2018 Merlot Reserve can be enjoyed now and for the next 6-10 years if stored in optimal conditions.



Retail: $45

GRAPE BLEND & SOURCE100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Partner vineyard in Northern Santa Barbara County
Acidity: 6.55g/L
Alcohol: 13.8%
19 months in 20% new/80% neutral French oak
TASTING NOTESRich aromas of blackberry preserves, stewed plums and dried figs with a blend of wet tobacco, black pepper and ginger on the nose. Soft tannins on the palate with medium acidity give way to a generous amount of red and black fruit flavors accented by notes of paprika, cayenne pepper and thyme.
WINEMAKINGThe Cabernet Sauvignon was hand harvested at sunrise in mid-October 2018, and fermented for 10 days from crush/must to wine and aged in 20% new French oak, prior to being bottled on May 27, 2020. 421 cases produced.
FOOD PAIRINGMediterranean-style Spareribs with three-cheese spinach creamy polenta
CELLARINGThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, SBC can be enjoyed now and for the next 3-5 years if stored in optimal conditions.



Retail: $45

Partner vineyard in Northern Santa Barbara County
Acidity: 5.50g/L
Alcohol: 14.5%
22 months in 15% new/85% neutral French oak
TASTING NOTESVibrant nose of raspberry, rhubarb, red plums and hibiscus with a floral undercurrent of orange blossom and lavender. On the palate, subtle notes of strawberry leather and black cherries are supplanted by flavors of bitter coffee, sweet tobacco and oak toast while the high acidity and delicate tannins provide balance.
WINEMAKINGThe Pinot Noir was hand harvested at sunrise, in mid-September 2018 and fermented for 10 days from crush/must to wine and aged in 15% new French oak, prior to being bottled on June 3rd, 2020. 387 cases produced.
FOOD PAIRINGRoasted Veal with Pickled Vegetables
CELLARINGThe 2018 Pinot Noir can be enjoyed now and for the next 4-8 years if stored in optimal conditions.