REFERENCE TITLE: Gordon Dutt; death resolution





State of Arizona

House of Representatives

Fifty-fifth Legislature

Second Regular Session





HR 2011


Introduced by

Representative Hernandez D



A Resolution


                     on the death of dr. gordon dutt.





Dr. Gordon Richard Dutt passed away at the age of ninety-one on September 4, 2021 in his home.

Gordon Dutt was born on October 25, 1929 in Choteau, Montana.  His family moved and settled in Great Falls, where Gordon graduated from high school and joined the United States Navy, serving as an air traffic controller.  After being discharged by the Navy, Gordon returned to Montana where he graduated from Montana State University and, in 1954, married Frances Sletton.  After graduating with his Ph.D. from Purdue University, he taught at the University of California, Davis, until moving his family to Tucson in 1963, where he joined the faculty at the University of Arizona, College of Agriculture.

Focusing on arid land agriculture-scale water harvesting in the mid-1970s, Dr. Dutt chose to concentrate his research on wine crops, which had not been grown in Arizona since before Prohibition.  The grapes flourished and produced remarkably good wine, so he changed his focus to wine grape cultivation in the southwest United States, resulting in the beginning of the Arizona wine industry.

In 1978, Dr. Dutt purchased land in the Sonoita and Elgin area where he and his partners started Sonoita Vineyards, which opened in 1983 as the first modern commercial vineyard in this State.  Dr. Dutt, widely known as the father of the Arizona wine industry, was instrumental in helping pass Arizona farm winery laws, establishing the Arizona Wine Growers Association, registering the Sonoita American Viticultural Area and establishing the Arizona Wine Commission.

Continuing his lifelong love of flying, Dr. Dutt maintained his pilot's license throughout his life.  In 1967, he was one of the 25 founding charter members of the Tucson Soaring Club and, over the decades, he served the club as president, a flight instructor and a tow pilot.

A loving and devoted husband and father, Dr. Dutt is preceded in death by his wife, Frances, and is survived by his two sons, Richard and Howard, and his four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.


Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Arizona:

      That the Members of the House of Representatives sincerely regret the passing of Dr. Gordon Dutt and extend their most sincere sympathies and condolences to his surviving relatives.