When founder and winegrower Anne Moller Racke started Donum Estate in 2001, her vision was to make very limited quantities of estate grown, vineyard-designated Pinot Noir. When she started her Ultimate Pinot Blog, alongside winemaker Kenneth Juhasz, her plan was to share frank discussions on the daily ins and outs of growing and making Pinot Noir. They began writing in 2006. Their stories were vineyard and cellar driven – accounts of seasonal changes and the challenges involved in “driving” all the elements and sub-elements of “terroir” – soil, climate, topography…and rainfall, wind patterns, fog, elevation, and exposure – to completion vintage after vintage. They offered intimate access to their philosophies and practices.
In the last year, the blog has taken a back seat to the demands of running a true vineyard estate, which expands far beyond the daily care and nurturing of our vines. Life unfolds, you know? Then it twists, turns and stretches you in a dozen opposing directions. A few months ago, however, I suggested the time had come to revive the blog. Perhaps we could touch upon all the facets of Donum Estate, all while celebrating the Carneros and wine country community at large? I half-stated, half-asked. Anne looked at me, smiled that wide, white smile of hers, and said, That’s a great idea. Why don’t you run with it?
Oh boy. Where would I start?
The Donum Estate narrative is rich with seasons of growth, both in and out of the vineyard. We don’t do what we do here alone. On any given day we collaborate with artisans, sommeliers, chefs, serious collectors, and wine neophytes to achieve our ultimate goal, which is not just to craft the best Pinot Noir we can from fruit we’ve farmed ourselves, but to bring it to your table as well.
It’s a serious undertaking, full of passion and romantic ideals, sure, but founded on hard work and honest farming. Even those of us who don’t spend our days among the vines have earned our fair share of callouses, albeit some are more figurative than literal.
I look forward to sharing these stories. Our stories. Their stories. And yours. At the end of the day, we want this blog to be about the people whose paths intersect with Donum Estate. Of course, our blog, much like our Facebook Page (if you’re not a fan you can click here now and change your status) will also serve as an excellent platform to stay abreast of upcoming events, discover the stories behind our special wines and read about news from the wine world at large.
Stay tuned for news and notes!
Now, as I so often say in my emails and letters to you all…Cheers and warmest regards,
Brooke Cheshier Gadke
Director of Hospitality