Happy New Year 2017


A bit overdue but Happy New Year! I just want to reach out at the onset of what promises to be a very exciting year for Susie Bynum Wines. Granted, it’s been an interesting start to the year (I’ll say no more ha, ha) but at least we have wine!

In 2015 we were blessed by the wine gods to get enough grapes to produce a whopping 100 cases!  And believe me we were very lucky indeed. It was an extremely ‘short yield’ year but the quality is amazing!! As I write this the wine is getting ready for bottling tomorrow. We can’t wait for you to taste this incredible wine and will let you know when it’s ready to be released.

The 2016 vintage was a near perfect growing season and we tripled production to 300 cases! The wine received its first racking in January and is in barrel for the winter. Now that is progress.

That brings us to 2017 and depending on the weather we will increase production yet again but not by much.

The other important news is a place to taste the wines. We have signed on for a tasting room which we are so excited to share with all of you. It looks like if all goes well we will be up and running in early 2018. We will keep you posted as the project moves along. In the mean time we have come up with a temporary solution. As many of you know already my wines are custom crushed at Optima Winery which is housed in a warehouse complex. (This is a new trend in the world of wine as regular brick and mortar real estate comes at such a high premium). Those that have come to see me and taste will tell you it’s pretty rustic but we always have a great time. We will be setting up an area within the winery for a more inviting tasting experience and we should have that done in a few weeks. (Knock on barrels).

That said, I will be doing this with the owners of Optima Winery, (my very dear friends), and those wines will be available to taste as well. It will be by appointment. Optima produces stunning Dry Creek Rose’, Zin & Petite Sirah, Alexander Valley Cab and a Knights Valley Cab. So in addition to my RRV Pinot and Chard those will be on hand as well. One last exciting wine for you to taste is my son’s very first vintage under his own label, Morley Wines, an exciting and delicious Mendocino Viognier! Also made at Optima.

So here’s to a great year and we will keep you posted as time rolls on. I will be sending an email to everyone on our list with a special Valentines offer on Thursday 2/9/2017.

Warm regards, To sign up for our emails (frugally sent I swear!) just click here EMAIL.


Harvest 2016 It’s a wrap!

2016 Harvest:

Friday October 14, 2016


As you all know this entire adventure is the continuation of the ‘Legacy’ baton which my father passed to me and which I have eagerly accepted.

1st bunch of our 2016 Russian River Pinot held by my dad, Davis Bynum

The 2016 Vintage has meant more to me than even I could have imagined. When I found the vineyard for this year’s harvest I knew the minute I saw it that this vineyard was special. Bynum special. It was the same feeling I felt when I first walked through the ‘Westside Road” property in 1973. Of course there were no grapes there then but the magic was there. The magic which my Dad had described as he drove me there for the first time. In his words “it’s perfect, this is the one”.  That was 43 years ago.

So I signed the contract for these beautiful grapes and waited. Four weeks ago the text message came in that the brix were just where we wanted them and it was time to pick.

It’s hard to describe how this made me feel. I’ve lived through so many harvests and each one is magical, but none quite so important as this one. ‘The grapes are ready’. The same words Dad said when I was five and we headed to Saint Helena to pick them at my Granddad’s vineyard. My first harvest. The excitement my child-self felt and the passion for it all which was sparkling in my Dad’s eyes became an imprint on my very soul.

Dad’s 91 now and I don’t know how many more harvests he’ll see,  but he saw this one. The morning that the grapes were being harvested I called Dad and said “are you up for a ride? I have a surprise”. He said he was. We drove to the winery and he held the first bunch of my 2016 Pinot Noir in his hand and he smiled and said ‘perfect’.

Cheers to Harvest 2016!


Warm regards,



The Legacy Continues …

As the daughter of Davis Bynum, a pioneer of Russian River Valley and pinot noir, I grew up in the vineyards and cellar. My veins practically run with red wine. Now it is my turn to live up to the legacy my dad created.

My dad founded Davis Bynum Winery in 1965, but was a home winemaker for several years before. He and my mom settled in Sonoma in 1973. My dad first worked as a reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle before the vineyards beckoned him. He earned his degree in History at Stanford and at UC, Berkeley.

He was the first to build a winery on Westside Road, the first to bottle a single-vineyard-designated Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley, and was the first vintner to make wine from the famous vineyard, Rochioli Vineyard. My dad also started a futures program in 1966. His efforts to promote organic farming won him the Sonoma Green Business Certificate of Compliance.

He single-handedly brought the AVA system to Russian River Valley from Burgundy and other regions of France. He learned of the importance of appellation and the conveyance of quality it adds from his travels. He spent his entire winemaking career building the reputation for the Russian River Valley. He sold Davis Bynum Winery to Rodney Strong Vineyards in 2007.

And here I am now, trying to fill those big shoes. I have him to thank for my knowledge and experience I can bring to Susie Bynum Wines. I look forward to working hard and continuing the Bynum legacy in Sonoma County!