Blog & Videos

The House Palate Prevention Program

Call it the House Palate Prevention Program, call it the Palate Road Trip, call it the Donelan Wines Big Day Out. Call it a crisp fall day, post harvest, young wines entering the quiet stage, finishing slowly in barrel, and aging wines moving towards completion to be bottled next year. This time of year is […]

Posted In: General Musings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

This Ship Has Sailed

One, you’re writing about the magic of the first fruit, the next, you’re writing about the inevitable: this harvest’s ship has sailed. After a year of planning and months of preparation, the 2015 harvest is over – a mere 43 days from start to finish. 43 days sounds like a long time, but in harvest […]

Posted In: General Musings |

The Magic of the First Fruit

There’s nothing like the magic of the first fruit. By the end of harvest, fruit pulling up outside the winery produces a double-edged-sword kind of feeling. Each pick brings a new chance to make an amazing wine, to learn, to contribute, to leave a mark on the vintage and to let the vintage leave a […]

Posted In: General Musings | Tags: , , , , , ,

Vineyard on the Fog Line

As our Sonoma County vineyards enter the active phase of 2015 harvest (!!!), we spend a lot of time on the road. Vineyards are an aesthetic paradise – disappearing into the fog line and the sunlight, those neat rows that can have so much personality, from the taught and tidy to the lush and unruly. […]

Posted In: General Musings | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Hens & Chicks & Harvests

This is a hen:   This is a chick:     And this, is millerandage – or, “shatter” in a Sonoma County vineyard:   Grapevines are self-pollinating, which means that they rely entirely on the short window of time in which they flower to successfully fertilize and begin normal development of a seed. If conditions […]

Posted In: General Musings | Tags: , , , , , ,

Good Things Come In . . .

. . . thousands of packages, of course! Even while we’re busy finishing blends, while we’re checking on vineyards, while we’re planning out the next harvest, the cycle must keep going. Wines must be bottled. Three to four times a year, a semi-truck pulls up in front of the winery, I put on a ball […]

Posted In: General Musings | Tags: , , , , , ,

From the Archives: Intern Reflections

Every year, we ask our interns to write about their experience of harvest at Donelan Wines. Here is a message in a bottle from Derek Plance, 2013 Harvest Intern:   Harvest is where hard work, a lot of hurry up, and occasionally a bit of waiting, make up a very special time of the year […]

Posted In: Internship Reflections | Tags: , , , , ,

This Just In: Crop Estimates

It’s time for crop estimates in Sonoma’s vineyards. Nothing could sound less exciting than “crop estimates,” right? It sounds like some kind of Excel nightmare. It definitely has something to do with spreadsheets, but for us it’s the first peek at the vintage to come. It’s when we discover what kind of fruit we’ll be […]

Posted In: General Musings | Tags: , , , , , ,