Thursday, October 18, 2012

Donum Harvest Draws to a Close

The 2012 harvest at Donum Estate has come to a close. This season has been a gift. A sunny yet mild summer allowed for long hangtimes, and nice, fog-covered mornings here in the growing season's final days have allowed us to bring in cool fruit to the winery. It's an exciting vintage, and we wanted to share a small piece of our harvest with you.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Donum Estate's Summer Event Line Up

How did it turn into August already? That's the question we've been asking - somewhat frantically - here at the Donum Ranch. Veraison has spread across our vineyard, we're about two to three weeks ahead of last year, and the vintage is shaping up nicely.
Change has been the theme of the summer, both inside and  outside of our vineyard. For some details about the exciting additions to the Donum team and the Donum vineyards, we invite you to check out our Summer Newsletter here.
In addition to the ongoing changes, there has been an event explosion on our calendars. August and September are shaping up to be some of our busiest months, with our grand Pre-Release Open House and Sonoma County Vintners' Taste of Sonoma as the headliners. Because we don't want you to miss out on anything coming to your area, below is a highlight of the key  Donum events:

Donum Pre-Release Event
The Donum Estate, Sonoma, CA

August 25, 2012 - Saturday, one-day only
We'll be opening some of our 2010 Donum Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay, including a Special limited edition 10th Anniversary Pinot Noir. This casual, walk-around tasting is the in-house favorite for the Donum team. We have the pleasure of connecting one-on-one with our club and mailing list members, and they have the pleasure of accesssing special  pre-release, allocation only vintages. We'll have passed and buffet-style small bites from Ramekins Culinary in Sonoma, all designed to complement our Donum portfolio of wines. Email me at for more details.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Into the East Slope

Mid-July. The precipice of veraison. Green thinning completed. It's an exciting time in the vineyards here at the Donum Ranch. We hope you'll take a moment to step into our East Slope block with Anne.

To see our complete archive of videos, which takes you through a series of Donum seasons and vintages, click on our You Tube Link.

To learn more about Donum Estate and our portfolio of single vineyard, estate grown Pinot Noir, visit our website or email me at  


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer with Donum Estate

I don't know how it happened. I looked down at the  calendar today and realized we're already in the thick of summer. Berry set started in our Donum vineyard in early June, and cluster set and size look great. The season is developing a little more slowly in our new Anderson Valley vineyard (more on that later), but we're excited by the progress there as well. Slow and steady wins the race, as they say.

The video below gives you a quick close up of June in the Donum vineyard. Three weeks have passed since it was shot, but Anne and winemaker Dan Fishman give you a nice overview of the developing summer season for the 2012 vintage. The ultimate takeaway is that everything - cluster set, berry size and canopy covers look healthy. As the summer progresses, Anne and the Donum vineyard team's goal will be to maintain that health and see fruit ripen evenly across all three of our vineyard properties. Each year offers its own unique challenges. I think it's important to note, however, that in pursuit of that goal, every vine in every one of our vineyards will receive the touch of a human hand at least eight to 12 times.


If you're interested in viewing additional videos, please visit our You Tube page for a complete archive. Anne offers refreshingly candid snapshots of growing seasons past and present.
For more information about our current portfolio of wines, please visit our website or email me at I always enjoy hearing from our Donum friends and family.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Clam Pot & Pinot: 2008 Donum Carneros Estate and a Father's Day Menu from Wild Goat Bistro

A few weeks ago Nancy DeLorenzo and a few friends came by the Donum Ranch for a private tasting of our new vintages.  The proprietor of the Wild Goat Bistro, Nancy creates innovative salads, artisan pizzas and sharable small plates – piled high with local ingredients – at her charming European-style bistro in the historic Great Petaluma Mill. And she pairs them alongside selections from her “carefully curated” wine list comprised of small production producers like Donum Estate. If you ever get the chance to pull up a seat at the reclaimed copper bar the looks out into the open kitchen, you won’t regret it.
As so often happens, Nancy’s brief stopover turned into a wonderful late morning visit, complete with Pinot Noir and some nutty, not too “sheepy” sheep’s milk cheeses. By the end of the morning, Nancy had picked up a few bottles, including our 2008 Donum Carneros Estate Pinot Noir.
A few weeks passed and then this incredible Father’s Day menu showed up in our inbox, complete with pairing notes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Grill Power: Donum Estate & The Bounty Hunter Talk Pinot and Pork

Let me start by saying, as a Southerner, I’m a touch obsessed with barbecue, be it North Carolina, sweet Texas or Memphis style. When I was first introduced to downtown Napa’s Bounty Hunter BBQ, which is run by Tiburon native Will Wright (pictured below, with his grilling tongs), you can imagine my wariness. A California boy – and a former investment banker – who knows his way around a smoker? 

It turns out that Will, once the chef and now the GM at the Bounty Hunter, has done stints in some of California’s finest kitchens, including the French Laundry. Will once told me that he’s always loved to grill, but he’s really been able to perfect his craft at the Bounty Hunter. Since his promotion to GM, Will doesn’t get his hands dirty in the kitchen as often as he’d like, but the tradeoff is that he now spends more time finessing the incredible 400-plus selection of wines they offer their guests. 

Over the years, Will has become intimately acquainted with some of these wines, including the lineup of Donum Estate Pinot Noirs. With grilling season kicking into high gear, we thought it was about time for the California Culinary Academy grad to take break from his grill and two Kamado smokers to talk Pinot and pork pairings with Donum Estate.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

La Difference: Donum Estate and a Diversity of Tastes

A few weeks ago, Cath Henderson, the editor of Classic Wine, graciously sent us a wonderful article by writer Norman McFarlane. McFarlane and Anne, Donum's founder, had met several months prior, and the article, titled "A Wandering Palate for Pinot Noir," touches upon their introduction and McFarlane's impression of the Donum portfolio of wines. We wanted to post it here for two reasons. First, Classic Wine is one of South Africa's most elegant wine publications, and we genuinely enjoyed McFarlane's thorough description of Donum's genesis and wines. Second, McFarlane's article isn't solely focused on the Pinot Noirs of Donum Estate; the broader subject is the American palate, which is always a hot button topic among winemakers, critics and collectors.

During one of our  monthly team meetings, I brought up this article and its exploration of the evolving American palate and how it is influenced. The conversation that ensued was lively and opinonated, and it inspired us to invite Anne to offer her take on the subject. We hope you'll check back in for that Q&A.

In the meantime, we hope you'll enjoy the following article. Although we can't say we agree with every element touched upon in the following pages, we can agree that the wine world would be much less rich if it weren't for the diversity of palates out there. As McFarlane says at the end of the "A Wandering Palate," Vive la difference!