The History of Dunn Vineyards
Dunn Vineyards is located east of St. Helena in the town of Angwin on Howell Mountain. In 1978 Randy and Lori purchased the original vineyard property. The property size would increase over time, but the first purchase was a total of 14 acres. Only five of those acres at the time were vineyard.
The Winery was established in 1979, with the first harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. In 1981, the first release offered consumers 660 cases of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Howell Mountain vineyards. In 1982, Dunn released a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. In the mid 80’s, production at Dunn Vineyards outgrew the existing winery, so in 1989 the caves were completed. These caves would provide barrel storage. In 1991, Dunn Vineyard’s property grew with the purchase of Park Muscatine’s 40 acres. At the turn of the Century, we planted our Lake Vineyard. This vineyard replaced a hayfield that Randy and the family had been harvesting for the last 20 years. Also in 2000, Mike began working full time in cellar.
In 2001, the fermentation tanks were moved to the cave’s entrance. With the help of a close friend, Glen Ragsdale, Randy built a catwalk and arch above the tanks. Pumpovers are much easier now. In 2004, Randy and Lori purchased the Sentinel Hill, located just as you drive into the town of Angwin. This land consists of 63 forest acres. That same year, Randy and Lori donated the land to the Napa Valley Land Trust. The old white house that was the original home and winery site was remodeled in 2005. This was the original home Randy, Lori and Mike moved into back in 1978. The house had white tin on the outside and therefore got the title “the white house”. The remodeled house includes living space as well as one large room for the office. Now, Erin Begerow, our office manager can enjoy some space in the office. In June of 2005, Kristina graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, and returned home to take part in the Dunn Vineyards operation. Currently Dunn Vineyards produces around 5000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon.
In 2003, Randy Dunn became involved with Long Shadows Vintners in the Columbia Valley appellation in Washington. Currently Randy is the winemaker for Feather, which is producing 430 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon. If you are interested in the wines please visit www.longshadows.com.
Randy Dunn: founder, owner and winemaker. Graduated from UC Davis in 1975.
Lori Dunn: founder, owner, and family backbone.
Michael Dunn: son, cellar master and assistant winemaker. Mike attended Davis and graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1988. Mike has been working here for the last 7 years, each year taking on more and more responsibilities. He has also provided new information, practices and procedures. Mike and his wife Kara have also just started their own wine label Retro Cellars. Information on their wines can be found at www.retrocellars.com
Kristina Dunn: the youngest in the family, recent graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a BS in Wine & Viticulture, hopes to continue in her father and brother’s footsteps.
Erin Begerow: Office manager, with the family for the last 13 years Erin takes care of all office work as well as some wine pouring tasting events.