Dry Creek Vineyard Founder David S. Stare to be Honored as ‘American Wine Legend’ at Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Awards

David S. Stare, Founder


HEALDSBURG, Calif. – NOVEMBER 18, 2021 – Dry Creek Vineyard is proud to announce that Wine Enthusiast Magazine will be honoring Sonoma County wine pioneer David S. Stare as its “American Wine Legend” at the upcoming 22nd annual Wine Star Awards. The momentous occasion marks the first time that the family-owned and sustainably-farmed winery has been awarded a renowned Wine Star Award. Stare will be honored in Wine Enthusiast’s special “Best of Year” issue and at the annual black-tie gala in Miami, FL on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022.

Stare is the original innovator of present-day Dry Creek Valley and has made a significant impact on the Sonoma County wine industry. Coming west in the late 1960s with little more than a dream to start his own winery, Stare’s work ethic and determination drove his early success. As the first new winery in the Dry Creek Valley following Prohibition, Dry Creek Vineyard has become the standard-bearer for Fumé Blanc and Zinfandel in Sonoma County. Over the last 49 years, the winery has also developed an international reputation for its Dry Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Bordeaux varietals and Meritage blends.

Stare’s legacy as an “American Wine Legend” 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.

Stare embodies the essence of a visionary spirit through sheer determination and hard work. As a wine industry 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 honored with a “Lifetime Contribution to the Sonoma County Wine Industry Award” at the 2014 Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Stare has a passion for philanthropy and serves as the Board Chairman for Global Partners of Development. He helped initiate the Vineyards to Villages program in 2012, which raises money from the wine industry to bring clean water to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Among Stare’s other interests are spending time with his family, railroad history, New Orleans jazz, and playing both trombone and banjo.

“I am honored and humbled to be named an ‘American Wine Legend’,” said Stare. “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. Nearly 50 years later, 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.”


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 49 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.

Sara Rathbun
Director of Marketing & Communications
(707) 433-1000 ext. 128