SANTA YNEZ — Sunstone Winery, located at 125 Refugio Road in Santa Ynez, has been busy pouring wine and harvesting grapes this fall — all while wearing masks in the hot sun of the valley.
Six Sunstone staff members worked 10-14 hour days, seven days a week for five weeks to harvest and crush the grapes.
They gathered 249 tons of grapes, enough to make approximately 206,431 bottles of wine.
Sunstone grows 17 varietals, which can be expanded into 53 different wines.
The new purple-tier designation will not affect the winery’s hours. Its tasting room operates outdoors from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.
Sunstone encourages reservations for weekend tastings, and the last parties will be seated at 4 p.m.
Tables seat up to six people and are spaced over six feet apart from other groups. Staff and guests must wear masks.
For Thanksgiving, Sunstone is offering a four-pack of wine for $99 complete with recipe pairings. The wines are: 2019 Grenache Blanc, 2018 Zephyr, 2018 Pinot Noir, 2019 Sauvignon Blanc.
— Annelise Hanshaw