How much wine do you produce on yearly basis?
Historically, our production has been quite restrained hovering around 12,000 cases; however, expanding interest in our wine, particularly from allocations wine club members, has led us to plan for further expansion. Our permit will allow us to increase production to 20,000 cases.
What kind of wine do you produce?
Our production is diversified, spanning as many as thirty small lots in a harvest and even more blends. We limit each release to a range of 100 to 400 cases per release, equal to 4 to 16 barrels. Sunce’s career total is 44 different varietals made from vitis vinifera, spanning from A to Z: Aglianico, Aleatico, Alicante Bouschet, Barbera, Brunello, Carignane, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Dolcetto, French Colombard, Gewürztraminer, Grenache, Lagrein, Malbec, Malvasia Bianca, Merlot, Montepulciano, Mourvèdre, Muscat Blanc, Nebbiolo, Negroamaro, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir to Primitivo, Riesling, Rosa del Peru, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Syrah, Souza, Symphony to Tannat, Teroldego, Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, Valdiguie, Viognier all the way to Zinfandel. This does not include the blends and ports, which are: CabSiraz, Chateau la Sunce, Garnacha/Tempranillo/Cab, Cuvee de Jose, GSM, Meritage, Trois Amis (our SuperT), Two Valley Cab, Zelmja’s Blend, a White Meritage, and a Merlot Port, a Barbera Port, a Zin Port, a Souza/Tourigia Nacional Port, and a Viognier Port. Only 4 to 8 to 12 to 16 barrels of each is made, equal to 100, 200, 300, 400 cases per release.
What do you grow on-site?
Our Estate Pinot Noir vineyard, aptly named for our first daughter Zora (23 y/o) was planted to rootstock 101-14 and the clones are Dijon 777 and 667. Four thousand vines were planted in a tight 4 by 6 spacing yielding 7-14 tons of Pinot Noir which are usually harvested in mid-September. Sunce owns, farms and/or leases 28 acres of various varietals throughout Sonoma County and other regions.
Where do you make and bottle your wine?
Everything is done on-site. We are the real deal, we’ve always been a brick- and -mortar winery with all the permits — not a phantom brand with production done in some custom warehouse. We are a livelihood winery, not a lifestyle winery.
We have our own crush/production facility and our own bottling line on-site. This allows us to authentically make, hand-curate, and bottle the wine as each small lot is sufficiently aged, rather than when it’s convenient for a mass-production facility or mobile bottling line.
Where do you distribute your wines?
99% of all our wines are allocated to our burgeoning allocations club (4,000+ members) or sold through futures through our on-site tasting room on the Olivet winery property and the our off-site tasting room in Kenwood.
What wines are you known for?
People collect us for a range of wines, from our Estate Pinot Noirs, our cellary-worthy Cabs, to our Reserve Meritage. Our Zinfandel also has a strong following and the Trois Amis (SuperT) is especially collector worthy. We are also known for producing 100% varietal wines from lesser known varietals, such as Nebbiolo, Barbera, Teroldego, Negroamaro, Primitivo, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Tannat–to name a few.
Where is the Russian River Valley Appellation?
The RRV region is located in central Sonoma County adjacent to Santa Rosa.
What is the Russian River Valley known for?
Pinot Noir, Old Vine Zin, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Does the winery offer tours? No. but we do offer private tasting appointments or private barrel tasting.
Please contact the winery directly at 707-526-WINE to establish your appointment.
How long has Frane been making wine in California?
Frane has been making wine in California for 37 years. He began in his basement in the eighties and Janae and Frane opened their own winery in 1991. Their first release was a 1991 RRV Cabernet Sauvignon. Harvest 2019 will mark their twenty-eighth consecutive harvest as a commercial winemaker.
Does he come from a winemaking family?
Frane descends from a centuries-old-winemaking tradition in Croatia. His great-grandfather was a cooper and a winemaker (his likeness is on the 2002-2003 Pinot and Bordeaux labels) as well as his grandfather and father.
Where is Frane from?
Frane is a native of the village of Sucuraj (“Saint George” in Croatian) which is on the eastern tip of the island of Hvar in the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia. Hvar is known for wine and lavender oil, and is now a tourist mecca, particular for sailing.
Does Frane do all the winemaking himself?
Frane has always been his own winemaker — a winemaking tradition unto himself. However he does not do it alone, Jose Calderon, his Assistant Winemaker and Janae Franicevic, co-founder and the manager/owner, comprise the whole team. Frane’s best teacher has been over 30 years of experience as a commercial winemaker in his own bonded winery, spanning 30 vintages and more than 43 different varietals, and as many as 30 lots each harvest year. Frane also relies upon his education (he has a Phd in East West Psychology) from which he employs his research skills. He also utilizes industry labs and stays abreast of new discoveries by attending workshops and seminars.
How many competitions do you enter per year?
We generally submit no more than 12 entries to 2-3 competitions per year. We average 8 entries per contest, trying to gauge when a wine is best-suited (showing good fruit and other components) to gain its due recognition.
Which competitions do you enter?
We consistently enter the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the Orange County Wine Society Competition, and the Sonoma County Harvest Fair.
Do you add sulfites to your wine?
Sulfites occur naturally on grape skins. Winemakers may also add sulfites to the wine as a preservative and antiseptic. Given that our small batches of wine do not necessitate a high usage of sulfites, we add only up to 30 ppms. The FDA approves as many as 200 ppms.
How does your Wine Allocation Club work?
There is no fee to join, however allocations are prepaid and are static pricing with no additional charge for shipping. The allocation levels are:
- $1,026 6 bottles 6X
- $684 6 bottles 4X
- $513 6 bottles 3X
- $360 6 bottles 2X
and are constantly rotating and renewable early upon invitation. Will-call is slightly less expensive. They’re all red (no ports) and our wines average over $40 bottle. We’re eating it on the shipping and the price of the wine.
The purpose of the allocations is:
- For you to taste and qualify more for your cellar/enjoyment or aging. To that end
- You are only sent 1 bottle of everything we make in a cycle, no repeats, so you can sample with your meals. A sampler.
- If you shove these singles directly in your cellar/ or on your rack, then get around to tasting them 6 months or a year down the road, they’ll be gone, sold out.
- They’re one-of -a kind and sell out fast.
- Each shipment you will receive 6 different bottles, no repeats.
- You only get one crack at it. How will you know what you have unless you taste it?
- Think of it as research or homework–someone has to do it.
- Don’t wait too long, the wines might be sold out once you finally get around to tasting them
What are the benefits of the Allocations Program?
Wine club members are entitled to 20%, 25%, or 30% discounts on all wine purchases, depending on the frequency of their membership. Members also receive pre-release discounts of 35% on select wines from the new vintages, and are entitled to deep discounts for futures purchases. Suncé also allocates special limited releases and older vintage wines directly to the wine club. Suncé also hosts Members-Only gatherings and dinner events. Participation in Members-Only Bottling Parties is highly sought after.
Do you have a waiting list? YES!
We do have a waiting list at this time. Email your filled-out form with credit card to: email@example.com. Sign-up is on-line and is first come, first served and limited to pre-paid memberships.
Is there a commitment for the Allocations Program?
Yes, the allocations are paid in advance. The club is not automatically renewable but may be renewed at the request of the allocation member. When the allocations are renewed before the last one cuts, the member will receive a 3 bottle bonus. At the time of enrollment, each member is allowed his/her appropriate discount on his/her on-the-spot purchases, as well as special futures pricing, and he/she is gifted a tee-shirt, corkscrew, or cap.
How do I update my billing/credit card info, address and other contact info?
It is the customer’s responsibility to update his/her credit card info, shipping address and other contact info. The winery is not held accountable for lost wine club shipments due to non-updated data; however, if a member has missed a club allocation due to expired or declined cards, he/she can call 1-707-526-9463 and Suncé will make its best effort to replace the missing shipment. Soon Sunce’s new website will allow members and customers to track their purchases.
How does your futures program work?
We pre-sale wines that are still housed in the barrels during the region’s Annual Barrel Tasting the first two weekend in March. Members may schedule private barrel tasting appointments. We offer a savings of 40% off the estimated release price to non-members, and 50% to members. Buying futures guarantees one will receive his/her allocation of a particular wine, which may sell-out before hitting the bottle.
When is the deadline to purchase futures?
We initiate the futures program during the second weekend of January at the Wine Road’s Annual Winter Wineland Weekend. Futures orders really kick off during the first two weekends of March for The Wine Road’s famous Barrel Tasting Event—though some lots sell out before this time. Wines that are not sold out may be purchased through the end of March, though we cannot guarantee availability. Some exceptions are made for add-on purchases to existing orders. For members, a limited offering of futures is extended through end of May. We also sell some futures at other yearly events including the Wine Road’s Wine and Food Affair in November, and Sunce’s own Annual Crush Party in October.
Will I be notified when my futures are ready?
Yes, a month or so before we plan to ship we will send a notice that the wine is ready. However, bottling dates are subject to change at the winemaker’s discretion; actual release dates may be sooner or later than estimated. For an updated listing of bottling dates, please call the winery: 707-526-9463
Will my entire futures order be shipped together?
Generally speaking, we ship futures orders in one shipment. However, Bordeaux wines are usually bottled at a much later date, and may be back-ordered for a later shipment.
How long do I have to wait to get my future wines?
At Barrel Tasting we give as close an estimate as possible of the release date for each particular wine, ranging from six months to 15 months post purchase date or a year-2 years after vintage date — longer for Bordeaux varietals and blends.However, other variables may apply, such as the winemaker’s discretion.
How long should I allow for shipping?
Depending on destination, allow up to two weeks for western states, and up to three weeks for mid-western, eastern, and southern states.
How is my shipping billed?
Shipping is billed separately by the independent shipper. Orders without a Credit Card cannot be shipped. Please make sure all orders to ship have a current credit card. There is a place for your credit card number on both our regular shipping form and our futures order form.
How much does shipping cost?
It is more cost effective to ship a full case or more of wine, rather than increments under twelve bottles. Suncé uses the most cost-effective shipping possible to save the customer’s money. Packing and shipping are done in-house at Suncé Winery. Shipping and packing charges combined range from $30-50 per half-case depending on destination and $40-$75 per full-case case; West Coast at the lower end and East Coast at the higher. Multiple cases delivered to one address receive bulk discounts.
How much wine should I consume?
Our wines are built to age. It is not necessary to consume a full bottle on the day it is opened – new flavors and tasting notes may in fact develop on the 2nd or 3rd day after the wine bottle is opened. We also feel that our wines are best consumed with food. Mediterranean dietary traditions suggest the health benefit of the moderate consumption of wine with one’s meal. Please be mindful that wine is indeed an alcoholic beverage. We in no way intend for wine to be used merely as a means to get inebriated, rather it is our hope that our vintages be enjoyed as part of a fine meal with good friends.
Are you open during the holidays?
We are closed for the following holidays:
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
- Frane Franicevic Phd-Winemaker
- Janae Franicevic-General Manager/Owner/Vineyard Relations
- Jose Calderon-Vineyard Manager/Assistant Winemaker
- Cindy Lee-Controller/Wine Club Manager