Grey Stack Cellars

Owner(s) Marie Young, Peter Young
Web site
Link to this site

Grey Stack Cellars was formerly known as Dry Stack Cellars, but the owners of Dry Stack Sherry felt the name was confusing. The name was changed to Grey Stack, which refers to a dry stack rock wall made from gray basalt native to Bennett Valley. The winery is hidden away in the Bennett Valley AVA, one of the newest and smallest appellations in the United States.

Peter Young moved to Bennett Valley in 1999 after purchasing 20 acres and launched Dry Stack Cellars, now Grey Stack Cellars, in 2005.

Grey Stack Cellars sources fruit primarily from four vineyards. Dry Stack Vineyard is located at the home ranch in Bennett Valley and is planted to Pinot Noir, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc. The site sits at 550 feet elevation on the eastern slope of Mt. Taylor and has volcanic soils. Four Brothers Vineyard, on the eastern edge of Bennett Valley, is owned by the Sullivan family, and is a relatively warm site planted to Pinot Noir, Grenach and Chardonnay. Steiner Vineyard, originally planted in the 1970s, and now owned by Nate Belden, provided fruit for Joseph Swan originally. Barbed Oak Vineyard, owned by Ed and Barb Pascoe, is located on the utmost eastern edge of Bennett Valley and is planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The first commercial wine, a Syrah from Dry Stack Vineyard, was produced in 2005, followed by a Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc in 2006. Russell Bevan of Bevan Cellars in Bennett Valley was the winemaker until 2009, when he was replaced by Patrick Sullivan (Rudd Winery, Peter Michael, Lewis Cellars and Paul Hobbs) who was born and raised in Bennett Valley, and assistant winemaker Randall Watkins.

Although Grey Stack Cellars has focused on Syrah, Grenache, a Syrah-Grenache blend and Sauvignon Blanc from estate grapes, the winery plans to expand Pinot Noir and Grenache offerings and possibly add Chardonnay to the lineup over the next few years.

Grey Stack Cellars wines are available on the website at, and through the winery’s mailing list. For tours of the estate vineyards or tasting, phone the offices of Grey Stack Cellars in Santa Rosa at 707-228-1338.

Reviewed Wines

2011 Grey Stack Bennett Valley Cuvée Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 250 cases, $38. Sourced from three vineyards: 50% Dry Stack, 33% Four Brothers, and 17% Steiner. Harvest Brix 23.8º to 24.5º. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Shallow but pleasant aromas of red cherries, spearmint and redwood. Very approachable with the appealing flavor of red cherry pie filling, plum and baking spices. Discreetly concentrated with supple tannins and some aromatic persistence on the finish which leaves a little heat in its wake. Good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Grey Stack Bennett Valley Cuvée Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 150 cases, $35. Second vintage. Proprietor is Peter Young, winemaker is Pat Sullivan, and vineyard manager is Chris Bowland. From an emerging appellation. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of spiced black cherries, herbs and green garden. Medium weight flavors of dark red cherries and berries with spice and herbal oak in the background. More savory than fruity (not for fruit hedonists). Good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 Grey Stack Bennett Valley Cuvée Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 175 cases, $26. First Bennett Valley cuvée and the first wine from two new sources in the AVA. A blend of three vineyards. Aged 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels and 9 months in bottle. · Shy but alluring melange of berry aromas with a rose petal note. Uniquely flavored core of fresh, juicy wild berries wrapped in fine-grain tannins. The fruits has impressive persistence on the pleasing finish. Really delicious the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very good. Reviewed November 7, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Grey Stack Cellars The Fisherman Connell Family Vineyard Bennett Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.85, 50 cases, $35, to be released soon. This wine is named for Peter Young’s father who is an avid fly fisher and Pinot Noir lover. Clones are 115 and Pommard. 5- day cold soak, aged 12 months in French oak. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color. Attractive aromas of dark fruits, Provencal herbs and seasoned oak that pick up intensity with time in the glass. Very tasty fullbodied flavors of plums and black raspberries with a subtle underpinning of oak. Mouth coating fruit with a smooth, creamy texture that speaks of pinotosity, and noteworthy persistence on the pleasing finish. Everything is working in harmony. This is a wine that is definitely worth seeking out, especially given the sensible price. Reviewed September 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

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