Sonoma Valley’s Ellie Phipps-Price a fierce advocate for wild horses
“They’re part of our heritage,” says Sonoma Valley wine producer Ellie Phipps-Price, who rescued the horses from certain slaughter. “They’re not a commodity. Just because something doesn’t make you money doesn’t mean it’s not worth having.”
Phipps-Price bought the 2,000-acre ranch west of Willows as a refuge for 170 mustangs she purchased at a July 2010 government auction, outbidding buyers who wanted to butcher the horses for their meat.
2010 Dunstan Pinot Noir
Medium-deep ruby color; complex, earthy cherry aromas with spice and smoky notes; deep, rich cherry flavors with complex earthy, caramel and toasty notes; silky texture; good structure and balance; long finish. Complex, rich Pinot with terrific structure and flavor.
Open Range: Lead A Horse To Wine
Aside from being the owner of the legendary Durell Vineyard in Sonoma, California, Ellie Phipps Price is an avid equestrian and animal activist who has made it her mission to help save America’s wild mustangs from round-up and slaughter.
2010 Dunstan Pinot Noir
April 11, 2013
2010 Dunstan Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ($50): This exotic Pinot actually has traces of Syrah in its romatic makeup, with black pepper, raspberry, cranberry, and a hint of wildflowers. The finish is assertive, but the main eature of the wine is its crispness, demanding that it be served with food.
Pairs of Great Wines
Dunstan Chardonnay and
Pinot Noir 2010
One of the best-known vineyards in Sonoma County, if not California, is the Durell Vineyard, perched at the cusp of three appellations, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Valley and Carneros, just a toe-hold in the latter, but entitled to a Sonoma Coast designation. Dedicated primarily to chardonnay and pinot noir, this vineyard supplies grapes to such labels as (perhaps most famously) Kistler, Chateau St. Jean, Patz & Hall and Robert Craig.
Brief Encounters – Wild Ride
March 12, 2013
Dunstan ’10 Pinot Noir shows dark cherry, saddle and brown spice aromas with bursting fruit and a tasty cherry finish. Chardonnay….offers green citrus and apple with ripe pineabble flavors rounded by a full malolactic fermentation.
2010 Dunstan Chardonnay
With its brisk acidity, minerality and dryness, this low-production Chardonnay shares similarities with Chablis. It has an intense core of Meyer lemons and guavas, with a veneer of sweet oak.
Ellie Phipps Price Radio Interview
November 12, 2012
Ellie talks with Horse Radio Network hosts Jamie and Glenn about the BLM, Mustangs, and her newly established wildlife santuary, Montgomery Creek Ranch.
2009 Dunstan Pinot Noir – 91 Points
Dunstan Wines 2009 Pinot Noir, Durell Vineyard, Sonoma Coast ($50) Silky and juicy with bright spice, cherry and racy acidity; fresh, tangy and showing style and good length; impressive.
Gayot’s Wine of the Week
2009 Dunstan Pinot Noir
A bright and bold wine, on the nose it offers red cherry fruit with rose petals and cola notes. Up front, its slightly tart cherry note dominates with darker fruit toward the mid palate and a hint of tomato jam toward the finish. Smooth, with silky tannins, it is an extremely approachable Pinot despite its big body and appreciable acidity. Try it with seared tuna rubbed with Middle Eastern spices, pork loin with a cherry sauce or roast turkey. For vegetarians, try it with wild mushroom ravioli in an heirloom tomato sauce.
Gayot’s Top 10 Wines with Seafood
2011 Dunstan Rosé
There are three principal methods for creating rosé wine: reducing juice contact with grape skins, blending and saignée. Dunstan produces its pink wine by the latter method, bleeding off a small quantity of juice from its somewhat larger output of Pinot Noir. The result is a refreshing mélange of strawberry, raspberry and rhubarb flavors. Pair it with salmon en croute or crab cakes.
Sonoma Magazine – Wine Dogs
Merle (pictured on the left) and Miles (on the right) make the Wine Dogs section of the current issue Sonoma Magazine. The photo was taken earlier this year at Durell between rows of Clone 5 Chardonnay. You might notice the shaved areas on Merle’s legs – he was undergoing chemotherapy at the time – which gave him a few extra years with us! We miss you Merle (aka The Sheriff).
Dunstan Wines: One of Sonoma’s hidden jewels
September 20th, 2012
The Wine Guy, Greg Walter, shows his love for Dunstan’s boutique production Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the Sonoma Sun newspaper wine column.
Dining Around with Joel Riddell
August 11, 2012
Chris and Ellie are interviewed by host Joel Riddell on the radio show, Dining Around. They talk about Dunstan, the Durell Vineyard, horses, VineSpring, and more.
Rusty Gaffney, Prince of Pinot, loves the ’09 Dunstan
June 24, 2012
Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Evocative nose offering aromas of spiced black cherries, black cap raspberries, sassafras and oak, picking up interest and intensity over time in the glass. Offers moderately dense and very ripe flavors of dark cherries and berries with notes of tea and vanilla. Soft in the mouth, almost creamy, with silky tannins and amazing length on the generous finish. Simply delicious. Top notch.
Dunstan Wins Gold
February 25, 2012
Our 2009 Dunstan Pinot Noir, Durell Vineyard was awarded 2nd place out of 460 wines tasted.
We also were honored to be picked as the crowd favorite and selected to pour at Rex Pickett’s release of “Sideways” the play. Based on the novel, this play promises to be a lot of fun!
The Holiday Wine Slate
Celebrating the holidays with wine is a tradition the world over. Whether you are sipping a hot mug of spiced wine at a Christmas market in Germany, toasting the New Year with a vintage bubbly, or savoring a rich red overChristmas dinner, wine and the holidays go together. The Durell Vineyard in Sonoma County, California produces some ofthe finest wines and are a favorite of the sommeliers at Horse Connection.
Great Wines For the Holidays
December 8, 2011
Last time we looked at some of the white wines that I believe are good choices for your holiday table. Today, we’ll look at the red side of the wine spectrum.
Pinot Noir: Pinot is a natural for the holiday table. It has the depth of flavor and structure to stand up to the myriad range of flavors. It’s also not too heavy, so it does well as a wine to sip before you sit down to dinner. Great examples include Sojourn Cellars, Three Sticks, Dunstan, MacRostie, Landmark and Athair.
WSJ – “Best of the Best”
2007 Sand Hill Pinot Noir
The objective: To find the 12 top wines in America. A panel of judges – chaired by best-selling wine writer Hugh Johnson – tasted more than 800 wines blind (to ensure impartiality).
These days, a handful of regions outside of Burgundy are matching that famous French region for class, elegance and fruit-richness, when it comes to great Pinot. Sonoma is a top contender — and Annual Dozen judge Justin Howard-Sneyd describes this “fascinating,” example from the renowned Sand Hill Durell Vineyards as “almost Vosne” — comparing it to Burgundy’s most sought-after (very expensive!) Vosne-Romanée wines.
2008 Dunstan Chardonnay
October 5, 2011
This big flavored Chardonnay is filled with melon and tropical fruit aromas and flavors, yet has enough acid and structure to keep everything in order. It walks the nice middle line between thin and tart and blowsy and overblown. It is drinking beautifully now and would be a great accompaniment to roast chicken.
Women of Wine: Ellie Price and Durell—Metamorphosis of a winery woman
Sonoma Magazine covers Ellie, Durell, and Dunstan (both the wine and the Mustang!) in the Fall issue. Ellie on blending wine: “I love the fact that grapes are essentially themselves, this irrefutable factor. You can farm with a certain intention, but ultimately, a certain field is going to produce a certain kind of grape. I like that known factor. You can give two artists three cans each of the same paint and they can come up with two completely different things, of different quality, of different vision. But that grape is going to be what it’s going to be.”
Dunstan Wines and Durell Vineyard owner save Wild Horses
June 17, 2011
Ellie Phipps Price, owner of Sonoma County’s Durell Vineyard and Dunstan-Durell Wines recently put up most of the $31,000 it cost a horse-rescue group to assure that wild horses rounded up by the BLM weren't sold to slaughterhouses.
Summer in a Glass
"The only Durell Vineyard designated rosé you’ll ﬁnd, this wine is made from a soignée of Pinot Noir sourced from the ultra-premium Ranch House Block. The wine is crisp, dry and light with aromas of rose petals and fresh strawberry. Salmon pink in color, the palate is full of wild strawberries, a hint of Meyer lemon and a clean mineral ﬁnish. Each year we make a small production of rosé because it offers our customers a glimpse at the beauty of the vintage long before the release of the same vintage wine (almost two years later). Also, it’s a great way to kick off summer which is why we like to call our rosé ‘summer in a glass.’"
Pour With Passion
Ellie Price of Belvedere, owner of Durell Vineyards has always loved horses. “As a girl, I wished for a horse at every birthday, I drew pictures of horses, dreamed of horses, and now I finally have too many—careful what you wish for!” Price, who has long been an avid horseback rider, is now actively involved in protecting America’s wild horses. She also owns Dunstan Wines produced from Durell grapes, named after her first rescued mustang.
DUNSTAN Celebrates its First Release
Saturday I attended the release party for DUNSTAN Wines’ 2008 vintage. This is the first release for that brand which is owned by Ellie Phipps Price of Durell Vineyards. Founded in 1979 by Ed Durell and purchased in 1998 by the Price family, more than 20 wineries, including Chateau St. Jean, TOR, Pali Wine Co. Chasseur, Kistler, and Three Sticks source fruit from Durell. However, DUNSTAN takes its fruit solely from the Durell Vineyard’s Ranch House Block and nothing from that block is made available to other wineries.
"Sonoma Coast Chardonnays"
San Francisco Chronicle
2008 DUNSTAN Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay: This new label from Durell owner Ellie Phipps Price harnesses a prime block (Ranch House) of a powerhouse Chardonnay site. A paraffin aroma, plus lots of toffeed and toasted flavors, reveal the oak influence. But there are dense layers of flavor beyond: minerally citrus and peach skin, and a savory twinge. Think brined green olive. The finish is fresh and bracing. A powerful, ripe style.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Through 30 years of growing some of the best pinot noir and chardonnay in Sonoma County, through replantings and evolving winery partnerships, changes in ownership and economic ups and downs, there’s been one constant at Durell Vineyard: expert vineyard manager Steve Hill.