Giving Thanks for Life’s Cornerstone and Celebrating the Journey


Through the changing seasons, holidays, and new year celebrations, we want to celebrate family, tradition, and going home—the cornerstone around which life turns. We like to imagine that November is when this cornerstone pauses for a moment. And instead of pushing on our everyday journey with the cornerstone at the helm, we all decide to pause with it and pull a chair up to it and suddenly, it becomes a table. Suddenly, this cornerstone becomes a place for everyone to gather, break bread, laugh, cook, drink, and revel upon it in gratitude. It becomes the place where we give thanks for being alive, for each other, and for the cornerstone itself.

Family, Tradition, and Going Home

These past two years have been different, but we’ve found more meaning in our lives because of it. A lot of people have found their way “home”, whether that was a small New England hometown, a brand new city, an old college town, or staying right where they were, taking in all four seasons. For us, our two sons Cushing and Tripp came home to the East Coast, to the places their wives are from, and it has been a rebirth for our family. Our eldest son Tripp became a husband and now a father with his lovely wife Sarah, who grew up in North Carolina and is a proud Georgia Bulldog. At Donelan Family Wines we say wine is a journey, not a destination, and these past two years have proven the same is true about life. This holiday season, we’re all going to be on a journey of family, friends, renewal, and things in life that make us feel good and proud of where we came from. The wines in our current release portfolio were designed to bring out a sense of discovery and warmth and to embody the cornerstone of life. We hope our family’s wine becomes a part of your family’s celebration this winter and holiday season, cheers!

Pinot Noir for Main Course Meats














Our Two Brothers is a fan favorite far and wide, and Pinot Noir is often a first choice when it comes to Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham. We wish we’d been able to make much more of it because the 2015 Two Brothers Pinot Noir is the most concentrated and intensely flavored in the seven years we have made this wine. Pour the Two Brothers—or the ‘Dos Bros’ as Tripp and Cushing have dubbed it—with all of your friends and family’s homecooked meals this season.

Everyone needs a little spice in their life, and in our family, Tripp is the spice man! 2017 Tripp’s Block is our Mendocino County Pinot Noir that works just as well with a big Thanksgiving feast as it does with porcini-mushroom polenta. On the nose, cranberry, black cherry, and orange peel rise to the foreground in a new way, yet the classic forest-floor and baking-spice components we love from this vineyard add to its background, making the nose complex and dynamic.

Syrah for Special Memories













Our favorite thing to propose for a meaningful holiday celebration is a Vertical of the Richards Family Syrah. Verticals of wine are inherently about generations and how they connect across vintages, just like a family. Carve out time this season to taste through a vertical with your family, even if it’s a thimble of wine for the little ones to try, just so they can be part of a tradition that shares a love of life and family with multiple generations. Richards Syrah is one of the most exquisite wines we make. It belongs at special occasions, like Hanukkah or New Years’ dinner, or engagement celebrations this season. We don’t keep the Richards for general sale on our website, but we’d love to tell you which vintages we have in stock so you can create your own Vertical selection. Just shoot us an email with how many bottles you’re looking for!


White Wines for Charcuterie and Fireside Sipping


















Our Genevieve’s Block Chardonnay is named after two important people in our family—my father’s only sister, who helped raise him, and our second grandchild, Cushing and Caroline’s daughter. We completely sold out of our recent 2019 Genevieve release last week, and we thank you deeply for that. But we do have some exclusive library selections of Genevieve, including the very first 2013 vintage. We have barely any left of these wines but sharing the joy is what we all want, so we’re excited to offer them to you for your own celebrations. Send us an email for rare bottles of Genevieve’s Block.


How can you start any meal without a bottle of elegant 2018 Nancie Chardonnay on the table? Every holiday we had with my family, my mother Nancie would use every opportunity to tell me she wanted a wine named for her. It’s a cool-climate Sonoma Chardonnay we sip all year long and is a crisp, refreshing way to begin a feast or sip by the fireplace after your meal. And If we’re filling our holiday celebration with oysters, crab, scallops, or lobster, then let’s think about a case or two of the beautiful, food-friendly 2019 Venus Roussanne-Viognier. We also have some of our older 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 vintage magnums in our cellar. Big bottles bring out celebrations and old stories that accent the holidays and family traditions. Send us an email to place a special magnum order.

We hope all of you have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving. Thank you for supporting our small Sonoma winery, and we look forward to sharing exciting new offers with you for our annual 3 Days of Donelan holiday event! Stay tuned, follow us on social media, and make sure you’re on our mailing list.

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