Wine Makers Dinner With Deerfield Ranch Winery

A carefully selected 4-course dinner menu with the perfect wine pairings.

Winemakers Dinner

Click here for details on the dinner menu and wine pairings.

Deerfield Ranch Winery

Deerfield Ranch Winery is award-winning boutique winery producing 8,000 to 10,000 cases annually. Robert Rex and assistant winemaker, Cecilia Valdivia, and their team handcraft small lots of wine from 28 vineyards in Sonoma, County, under long term license to the winery. Deerfield is on the cutting edge of California winemaking, which leads the world in technique. Deerfield wines are renowned for their brilliant colors, rich and wonderfully complex flavors and a long finish. They tend to be fruit forward, with gentle tannins and low acid. They are very approachable when young yet age well. Robert developed special techniques that became known as Clean Wine®, which is more specific than either organic or biodynamic winemaking, both of which are practiced at Deerfield. Clean Wine® is low in sulfites, which can cause allergic reactions and low in histamines, which can cause headaches. The Deerfield motto is, “Clean Wine, Clear Head.”

Besides the Deerfield brand the winery makes wine for 18 winery clients under the umbrella of a custom crush facility.

Deerfield Winemakers Image

The Winemaker

Robert Rex is a “Renaissance man” possessing a great palate and an exceptional talent for winemaking. He is a chemist, graphic designer and accomplished gourmet cook. He has the ability to fix almost anything. With the harvest of 2019, Robert and PJ, the winemaker’s wife and business partner, celebrate their 47th consecutive years of winemaking. They lived in Kenwood, Sonoma Valley, for 37 years. Their beautiful hilltop retreat, Deerfield Ranch, is home to the original Deerfield Ranch Winery, and from the view out their back door of Sonoma Mountain, the source of the Deerfield logo.

PJ got Robert start making wine in their garage in 1972 in Berkeley by giving him a winemaking kit as a thank you gift for keeping her Alfa Romeo running. She’s still driving her Alfa and Robert is still keeping it running. PJ is sensitive to both sulfites and histamines, which was the inspiration of Robert’s development of Clean Wine® techniques.

Robert, PJ and their partners built the current winery on the Sonoma Highway between 2000 and 2004, the first year of production there. With a tasting room in the middle of a 23,000-square foot barrel aging cave, the new winery opened to the public in 2009.

Winemaking Philosophy

“Making wine is like gourmet cooking. We start with the finest ingredients, grapes farmed by growers who put as much attention into their vines as I do into the wines. Great wine begins in the vineyard. We have worked with the same growers year after year to perfect a partnership to produce the best wine. By drawing from many vineyards, we get grapes from appellations where varietals grow the best.

We allow the grapes to fully vine ripen, hand pick and triple sort all the fruit, and use the gentlest production techniques. Sorting and good fermentation science and management are key to making Clean Wine®. We make wine by hand is small lots and taste the wines constantly so to profit from their constant changes. Most of our red wines are aged for a minimum of three years in oak barrels in our cave. Wine ages better in a barrel than it does in a bottle. Our wines are not released until they are ready to enjoy.

We experiment with the latest ideas and techniques while operating from a foundation of tradition. We mold and nudge the wines in one direction or another to make them lovely in appearance, fruity in the nose and delicious to drink soon after they are bottled. Attention to cleanliness and balance retains aging capability.” No preservatives are used or are necessary. Deerfield wines are Vegan, and environmentally responsible.”

Deerfield recycles 100% of their solid production waste and 98% of the production water. The winery property includes the Kenwood Wetlands, a vital habitat that is being restored and managed by the Rexes. The winery is carbon negative.

Over the years Deerfield has been awarded more than 375 medals and have had 42 wines rated over 90 point.