Blog & Videos

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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Off-Season Sounds of a Winery

In a winery, the off-season sounds like the forklift charger’s occasional, throaty buzz in the quiet cellar. The barrel room door’s sharp snap as it shuts and closes. A pallet jacket rumbling across the cement floors. The ubiquitous winery sound of steel on steel – a metal bucket clanging against a tank. These sounds all […]

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Creative Inspiration for Wine Blending

April showers have given way to the new growing season and for me, it’s a chance to dust off my green-thumb and create the gardens I have daydreamed about all winter. At the winery, this time coincides with a new season of wine blending trials for the 2014 vintage.  I find myself thinking about these […]

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Harvest Winery Internship 2013

At Donelan Wines, harvest is an opportunity to open our doors to eager, hardworking individuals who want to learn more about winemaking and to be exposed to some exciting terroirs in northern California.  Every year we hire a few harvest interns to participate in the many facets of the winemaking process.  We are happy to […]

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Flower Power in Sonoma Vineyards

Winemakers are an excitable species. We like to enthusiastically declare “this is the most exciting time of year!” …. several times a year. Not everyone is so unabashed in their outbursts. I’ve come across the handful of us who hate harvest, which is understandable given the way it saps the life out of you and […]

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