Dunites: An Exciting, Young Producer in the San Luis Obispo Coast

Established in 2015 by the husband-wife winemaking team Tyler Eck and Rachel Goffinet Eck, this is a small (1500 cases) winery the couple manage to run while holding down full-time wine jobs. We joined Tyler and his son (shown here) for a tasting at the Dunites charming, new tasting room in downtown San Luis Obispo.

Tyler is a UC Santa Barbara grad who studied enology at Lincoln University in New Zealand and gained work experience at wineries in New Zealand, Tasmania, France and Peay Vineyards in California. He is currently associate winemaker at Fess Parker Winery. Rachel studied viticulture at Cal Poly and worked at Stephen Ross Cellars, Paul Lato Wines, and Te Kairanga in Martinborough, New Zealand. She currently works for Coastal Vineyard Services.

Tyler and Rachel source fruit from top SLO vineyards, including Spanish Springs, Bassi in Avila Beach, Islay Hill and Jespersen Ranch.  The winery name takes its inspiration from a Depression-era utopian community called the Dunites, a group of artists and bohemians who lived in the sand dunes around the town of Oceano. All wines are fermented using ambient yeasts and often with partial stem inclusion.

If you happen to be on the Central Coast, we recommend you visit the Dunites tasting room. If you do so, beware of the super-vigilant parking meter enforcers!

The New Dunites Tasting Room on Garden Street in San Luis Obispo

The Wines

Dunites 2021 Chardonnay SLO Coast ($32) 93  Medium yellow straw. Ripe aromas with melon, lemon zest and orchard fruit on the nose. Bright on the attack with tangy acidity on the palate and a round mouth feel with good concentration. Sourced from the Islay Hill Vineyard in Edna Valley. Whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented in large neutral puncheons with full malo.

Dunites 2020 Grenache Islay Hill Vineyard Edna Valley ($38) 94 This is a delicious Grenache displaying a medium red color and a red berry nose. It is silky smooth on the nose with pure red fruit, tangy acidity, and good ripeness of flavor. Sourced from the terraced, volcanic soils of Islay Hill; fermented 1/3 whole cluster with gentle 3-4 weeks maceration then basket pressed and aged in neutral French oak puncheons for 10 months and bottled unfiltered. 13.8% alc.

Dunites 2021 Pinot Noir Bassi Vineyard SLO Coast ($42) 93 The 2021 Pinot Noir Bassi Vineyard has a bright ruby red appearance with aromas of cherry and raspberry on the nose and a hint of herbs. A very pretty wine, it is medium weight and fruit-driven with excellent freshness, a touch of saltiness and good extract. Made in open top fermenters with 40% whole clusters. Matured in 500L neutral puncheons.

Dunites 2021 Syrah Grenache SLO Coast ($32) 93 This blend of 64% Grenache and 36% Syrah displays a medium dark red color and offers fresh dark red fruit on the nose. On the palate there are nice red fruit overtones and bright acidity–the darker Syrah fruit doesn’t dominate the blend. Sourced from the Bassi, Islay Hills and Spanish Springs vineyards; fermented 50% whole cluster and matured 10 months in neutral puncheons. 13.5% alc.

Dunites 2021 Syrah Sans Soufre SLO Coast ($32) 93 Dark carmen purple, the Syrah Sans Soufre offers aromas of dark plum and is slightly reductive, although it dissipates with decanting. It is very fresh and offers blackberries and huckleberries on the palate with crisp acidity. Sourced 60% from Islay Hill and 40% Spanish Springs and fermented 60% whole cluster, aged 8 months in neutral French oak puncheons, inspired by the Northern Rhone where Tyler worked for 18 months.

Source : https://i-winereview.com/blog/index.php/2023/08/03/dunites-an-exciting-young-producer-in-the-san-luis-obispo-coast/

Dunites: An Exciting, Young Producer in the San Luis Obispo Coast Dunites: An Exciting, Young Producer in the San Luis Obispo Coast *Dunites: An Exciting, Young Producer in the San Luis Obispo Coast