Bion Rice Shines Heartfelt Light on Sunstone Winery’s History: With Grace and Gratitude

Bion Rice sheds light for the love of winemaking
Bion Rice sheds light for the love of winemaking

By Nancy and James Chuda founders of LuxEcoLiving and Healthy Child Healthy World

Sunstone Winery Santa Ynez California
Life happens! Even in the best laid plans one can never predict expectancy but one can assume that memories linger and with them come the force of spirit from grace.

La Cav Sunstone Winery. Photo credit ONJ for LuxEcoLiving
La Cav Sunstone Winery. Photo credit ONJ for LuxEcoLiving

Bion Rice and his wife Anna have carved a destiny for themselves and their two sons which for many younger entrepreneurs would seem impossible. Maintaining a family business is one thing but exploding a brand is another.

The Rice family today. Bion and his wife Anna and their two sons. Photo credit Anna Rice
The Rice family today. Bion and his wife Anna and their two sons. Photo credit Anna Rice

Sunstone Winery is their third child. With great shelf-life expectancy I might add. Recently, we gathered in La Cav, a place of grand distinction and dedication. Bion Rice’s mother Linda Rice built the vineyard, literally, stone by stone, all imported from Beaune France. She never lived to enjoy it. Cancer claimed her life but her love of family, friends and the beauty of the winery she masterfully completed lives on as a testament to her and  Sunstone.

Linda Rice. Photo credit the Rice family
Linda Rice. Photo credit the Rice family
Sunstone Winery is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Photo courtesy of Sunstone Villa Winery
Sunstone Winery is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Photo courtesy of Sunstone Villa Winery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was her vision, passion and love of life that gave her the courage and stamina to accomplish and complete the building of a magnificent villa that sits atop the winery and faces the golden light, some call the Tuscan sun. Linda’s light follows and greets all who come to taste the artistic blending of the vines.

Even as a small child, Bion was fascinated with alchemy. His curiosity led him to an Einstein state of mind which fueled his fervor and propelled his passion.

Photo credit Sunstone Winery
Photo credit Sunstone Winery

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As an artistic alchemist Bion’s passion for making great wine is unsurpassed. He’s competing in one of the most competitive industries in a place where vineyards have overtaken agricultural interests in a valley that has long been known for cattle grazing and beef.

Santa Ynez California. Photo credit Nancy Chuda for LuxEcoLiving.
Santa Ynez California. Photo credit Nancy Chuda for LuxEcoLiving.

Bion’s dream of creating a prestigious label for his Sunstone wine… a brand that holds acclaim and can compete with the best quality California can offer does much more. He believes in sustainability and is one of the only wineries to receive a (CCOF) California Certified Organic  Farmers approval for organically grown vines. This is a major accomplishment in an industry where very few would take on those responsibilities and potential risks.

Jim and Nancy Chuda with John Easterling and Olivia Newton-John. Photo credit LuxEcoliving
Jim and Nancy Chuda with John Easterling and Olivia Newton-John. Photo credit LuxEcoliving

Bion treated us to a special wine tasting in La Cav, known as Linda’s Room. Our guests included Christian Frere and his wife Edie. Christian is part of the Conseil des Echansons de France.

Christian Frere
Christian Frere Conseil des Echansons de France

This special Wine Brotherhood, was founded in 1954 by Claude Josse, who along with his prestigious members, aims to defend and promote the best appellations of French terroirs. Christian was very impressed with Sunstone’s wines. His opinions, coming from a place of the highest distinction brought a tremendous sense of pride to an American born winemaker whose golden light continues to shine with great success.

 

The Rice family celebrates the golden light that still shines in  loving memory of Linda Rice
The Rice family celebrates the golden light that still shines in loving memory of Linda Rice

Editor’s Notes:

Become a member of Sunstone Winery-(805) 688-9463

125 N Refugio Rd  Santa Ynez, CA 93460

 

 

 

 

 

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