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The origins of our nautical themed labels are purely personal. We have enjoyed a long love affair with the sport of sailing and have a profound appreciation of America’s nautical heritage.

Combining two passions, we were inspired to use the sailing ship theme on our wine labels. In 1982, when the original idea was unveiled, it was seen as a rather daring and risky move. Nearly 40 years later, the sailing ships that adorn our wine bottles are easily identifiable and recognized by consumers around the world. Since the beginning, Sonoma County artist Michael Surles has provided the beautiful paintings for our labels. Using a variety of mediums from watercolor to richly hued oils, Surles captures the spirit of the high seas.

Winemaking and sailing actually have a lot in common. Like winemaking, sailing is fun, adventuresome and romantic. Like sailing, the art of winemaking demands the skill, discipline and determination of a group of people committed to the same goal.  Sailing and winemaking are a study in choreography and teamwork – each person contributing something essential to the ultimate success or failure of the team. Our winemaking team is constantly striving to raise the bar of excellence for all of our wines, just as a team of sailors work toward a common goal of success.


Our History with the Sport of Sailing

Year Event
1977 Winery founder David Stare sponsors the first sailing team at Sonoma State University. Ironically, it was then SSU student Peter Holmberg who first approached Dave. Holmberg is now a world renowned sailor, Olympic medalist and America’s Cup skipper.
1982 Winery releases its first wine with a sailboat on the label – David S. Stare Reserve Fumé Blanc.
1986 Winery sponsors the Tall Ship Californian and its Sea Cadet program. Dave sits on the board of the Nautical Heritage Society.
1990-2005 Dry Creek Vineyard is the official sponsor of the Bitter End Pro-Am Regatta in the British Virgin Islands.
2000 Dry Creek Vineyard launches new America’s Cup Reserve series at the 2000 America’s Cup in Auckland, New Zealand.
2002 Official sponsor of Brad Van Liew’s Around Alone campaign – a 37,000 mile solo circumnavigation race.
2002 Dry Creek Vineyard and US SAILING form an alliance donating a portion of the proceeds of our Regatta wines back to US SAILING.
2003 Official partner for Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.
2002-2009 Winery forms official partnership with US SAILING, the national governing body of the sport.
2013 Dry Creek Vineyard becomes official supplier of Artemis Racing – Challenger 34th America’s Cup.
2016 Dry Creek Vineyard is selected as the Exclusive Wine Supplier for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series New York and Chicago.