Home News Ag Economics Dry Creek Vineyard Founder David S. Stare Receives ‘Wine Lifetime Achievement Award’ At Castate Fair

Dry Creek Vineyard Founder David S. Stare Receives ‘Wine Lifetime Achievement Award’ At Castate Fair

Dry Creek Vineyard is proud to announce that the California State Fair honored Sonoma County wine pioneer David S. Stare as the recipient of their “Wine Lifetime Achievement Award” during yesterday’s ceremony. Stare is one of two recipients for the 2022 year alongside legendary wine writer Bob Thompson, as the State Fair Advisory has recognized multiple industry experts across award categories due to delayed events during the pandemic.

Coming west in the late 1960s with little more than a dream to start his own winery, David Stare is the original innovator of present-day Dry Creek Valley.

“It was 1971, and I was studying winemaking at UC Davis during the week and searching for vineyard property on the weekends. It was on one of those visits that I discovered the Dry Creek area and immediately fell in love,” said Stare.

As the first new winery in the Dry Creek Valley following Prohibition, Dry Creek Vineyard has become the flagship producer of Fumé Blanc and Zinfandel in Sonoma County. Over the last 51 years, the winery has also developed an international reputation for its Dry Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Bordeaux varietals and Meritage blends, continuing to craft classically styled, terroir-driven, appellation-focused wines.

Stare’s pioneering legacy reflects his lasting impact. Among the many achievements during his career, Stare was:

  • First to plant Sauvignon Blanc in the Dry Creek Valley in 1972.
  • First to produce a Fumé Blanc in Sonoma County.
  • First to initiate the appellation status for the Dry Creek Valley in 1983.
  • First to label a wine with the Dry Creek Valley appellation.
  • Ranked among California’s first proponents of Bordeaux-style blending.
  • First to release a wine using the classification of “Meritage” (1985 vintage) on the label to classify Dry Creek Vineyard’s Bordeaux-style blend.
  • First to champion Zinfandel among world-class vinifera.
  • First to coin the term “Old Vines” Zinfandel, beginning with the 1985 vintage.

The journey to establish Dry Creek Valley as a premier winegrowing region was never easy, but David Stare remained persistent in his vision despite skepticism from agricultural critics.

“All along the way, I was told that my ideas had never been done before. Being a kid from Boston, I was just bullheaded enough to do what I wanted to do,” said Stare. “I am so proud that Dry Creek Vineyard remains one of the last truly private, family-owned, iconic wineries from Sonoma County consistently producing 90-plus point wines!”

Stare’s work extends far beyond the five-decades-old family winery. As a community leader, he has served as President of the Society of Blancs, President of the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley and President of the Sonoma County Wineries Association, as well as serving on the board of directors of the California Wine Institute. He was recently honored with Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s “American Wine Legend” award as well in 2022.

With a passion for philanthropy, Stare continues to serve as the Board Chairman for Global Partners of Development, initiating Vineyards to Villages in 2012, a program that raises money from the wine industry to bring clean water to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. His family winery Dry Creek Vineyard continues to pave the way to an innovative future, led by the second generation and Stare’s daughter, Kim Stare Wallace.

Established in 1972 by David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard is Dry Creek Valley’s flagship winery located in the heart of Sonoma County, California. This premier, family-owned winery is celebrating 50 years of winemaking and is led by the second generation. Dave’s daughter, Kim Stare Wallace, serves as President overseeing a successful family winemaking and grape growing business that includes 185 acres of sustainably farmed vineyards. Named a Top 100 Winery by Wine & Spirits Magazine and a Top 10 Tasting Room by USA TODAY, the winery is also 100% Certified Sustainable. Dry Creek Vineyard proudly produces delicious Dry Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Meritage blends as well as a portfolio of single vineyard selections. To learn more, visit www.drycreekvineyard.com. Connect with Dry Creek Vineyard on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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