At Donelan® we believe that the greatest wines are not made, but discovered.
Our goal at Donelan \is not to just only find the sites, get the fruit, and make the the wine. The goal is to discover and distill what truly makes an impact to the governing components of great wine, and only do those things. To isolate out the best of the best by segmenting vineyards based on natural variation within even the smallest of sites among northern California vineyards. Creating a wine of terrior.
What is terroir? A wine of terroir captures a 害e裂a particular place. That is, a wine tastes unique as a result of its place, and therefore captures a comprehensive essence of that place and can only be the way it is when it is from that one site. Learning about and tasting terroir is a time intensive journey; it is an exploration of what characters of a site produce unique aspects in the wine. That some of our wines in our northern California vineyards have been likened to the great wines- for example - those of the Rhone valley is
flattering. However, our goal is not to discover "Rhone Terroir" or "Burgundy Terroir" in California, it is to discover and promote new terroirs and unique vineyards that produce pleasurable, inimitable wines that are directly a result of a unique interaction of vine and environment.
The Foundations of our Vineyards:
Weather: cool climates that lead to classic and intense aromatics, long growing seasons, and require less intervention in the cellar.
Soil: free draining soils and windy conditions leading to hydric imposition upon the vines which we understand to have significant impacts on overall wine complexity, depth, and character.
Iconoclastic sites: burly sites where many said "nothing could grow up there," these are the places we seek out because unique sites will produce unique wines.
Committed and quality oriented growers: often an underappreciated element to producing good fruit is finding visionary growers who are committed to the goal of producing inimitable wine. We work closely to communicate our belief that good enough is the enemy of great, and vine by vine farming is ingrained in our viticulture practice.
Sustainable growing: when committed to quality, we feel we must be committed to the quality of everything we do. Sustainable growing is largely about finding ways to achieve our goals without depleting the organic resources available to us.