the Vineyard With Steve In
the Cellar With Dan On
the Road With Dan
IN THE VINEYARDS WITH STEVE
IN THE VINEYARDS WITH STEVE - ABOUT DUTTON RANCH
We're often asked "where is Dutton Ranch" or "how big is Dutton Ranch". Dutton Ranch isn't one place (although there is a home office on Graton Road where the Shop Block vineyard is), but a collection of over 60 non-contiguous parcels in Russian River Valley that comprise approximately 1,300 acres of land that they either own, lease or manage. About 1,150 of these acres are planted to grapes, and the other 150 to apples (including the delicious Gravensteins that this area is known for).
Warren and Gail Dutton bought their first 35 acres west of the town of Graton in 1964. Their first grape sale was $88 for a ton of Colombard grapes. Steve, along with his brother Joe, literally grew up in the vineyards and orchards, learning his way around farm equipment (his first love). Today, while it has grown beyond the family's wildest dreams, Dutton Ranch is still really just a family farm, with Steve and Joe continuing their father's vision. The employees of Dutton Ranch are part of a large extended family, some of whom have worked for the Duttons for over 30 years. In addition to farm workers, Dutton Ranch also employs three full-time mechanics to maintain their tractors and other farm equipment.
Farming is a way of life for the Duttons, and they consider themselves stewards of the land that gives them their living. While organic farming isn't practical in western Sonoma County due to the coastal fog and heavy moisture, the Duttons employ "reduced input" farming for all their properties. Low-volume sprayers and only low-risk fish- and animal-safe products are used. To further their commitment to low environmental impact, the Duttons utilize Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a method of pest management that monitors the site for pests and deals with them on an as-needed basis, rather than automatically spraying each year.