Beyond the Boardroom

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Steve Dutton

Author: Mallorie Kerrigan
October, 2018 Issue

Steve Dutton is a fifth generation Sonoma County farmer and a life-long resident of Sebastopol. He is partners with Dan Goldfield in Dutton-Goldfield Winery, and is also partners with his brother, Joe, operating Dutton Ranch and Dutton Bros. Farming. The brothers farm more than 1,200 acres of grapes and 200 acres of organic apples within the Russian River Valley appellation. In 2006, he and his brother were named agriculturalists of the year by the Sonoma County Farm Bureau. In 2017 the Dutton Brothers received the Sustainable Farmer award from the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. There’s never been a moment in Steve's life when he wasn't absolutely certain that he would be involved in farming and agriculture. He resides in Graton, and is proud of his two children, Jake who is studying viticulture at Santa Rosa Junior College and Jordan who is studying agribusiness and Spanish at UC Davis. 

What room in your house best reflects your personality?

My garage. It’s organized and has a combination of vintage and new cars. Some would say I’m a perfectionist.

What's your most embarrassing moment?
This interview!

What’s your favorite expression?
I have several. “Kick A$$,” or “You don’t have to talk a lot to prove you’re smart,” or “Why isn’t there a bottle of wine open?” or “Are you happy?”

If you had the chance to go anywhere for dinner tomorrow, where would you go?

How about lunch instead? I would go to Rutherford Grill because I had the best first date of my life there, and I still got to drink Sonoma County wine.

If you could learn to speak any foreign language, which one would you choose?
Better Spanish. The joke here with my employees at Dutton Ranch is that I speak “Ranch Spanish,” but everyone seems to understand and get the work done.

There are two types of people in this world. What are the two types?
Lazy and hard working. I feel lucky that I grew up watching my mother, Gail, and my father, Warren, who always worked hard and thought no task was too big or small for them to take pride in accomplishing.

If you were stranded on an island, what would you want to eat every day?

Caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes, and a ribeye steak with Russian River Valley Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.

If you could possess it, what superhero’s power would you want to have and why?

I would be Mother Nature, so I could make farming easier and more predictable.

What are you addicted to?

Farming. I can’t imagine doing anything else and I love making things better than when I received them. I spend every day thinking about taking care of the land for my family and the next generation.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

Read more for fun.

What’s something you like to do the old fashioned way?

Read a hardcover book.

When you're not drinking your own wines, what wines are you drinking?

I love to support the winemakers who buy and use our grapes. Fortunately, that gives me a lot of options of incredible wines.

How do you relax after a hard day of work?
I change out of my boots, pour a glass of Sonoma County wine and share my day with the people I love.




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