The Donum Estate

The Donum Estate

About

The Donum Estate is both a place and a unique project. In fact, it's three places. Donum Ranch is a 147-acre property with 45 acres devoted to vines located on gently rolling hills that rise up from San Pablo Bay in Carneros. To the northeast in the Russian River Valley lies the 16-acre Nugent Vineyard, and further north, our 11-acre Anderson Valley vineyard. We farm all three vineyards, which provide superlative estate grown fruit for our "ultimate Pinot Noir project." Based on a Burgundian grand cru model, our program's goal is to produce the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay possible. The Donum Estate is owned by Winside, Inc., a partnership of five Danish investors, all friends who share a love of fine wines.

Location Description

Located in beautiful Sonoma County.

Contact

Fax: 707 939 0651

Features

  • Donum and Stemmler wines are routinely outstanding, typically among the highest-scoring Pinot Noirs from the Carneros region.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

Average Bottle Price

$ $72

Winemaker

Dan Fishman: Winemaker

An integral part of the winemaking team since 2007, Dan Fishman began at The Donum Estate as an intern under consulting winemaker, Kenneth Juhasz. Five vintages in, Fishman was increasingly comfortable with the fruit coming from our estate vineyards in Carneros, Russian River Valley, as well as the Angel Camp Vineyard in Anderson Valley and it was a natural progression for him to take over the winemaking helm in June 2012 as more time and attention was needed for the crafting of additional single vineyard wines. With an unwavering appreciation for each vineyard's unique character, Fishman's winemaking style for Stemmler is one that allows for each lot to reveal itself and the treatment it demands while always welcoming the opportunity to experiment using both historically known and cutting-edge winemaking techniques. This willingness to experiment and keen intuition stems from Fishman's unexpected education and experience. As an undergrad at Cornell University, he studied Philosophy and Psychology with a desire to eventually earn his PhD and become a professor. While there, Fishman found himself in a wine appreciation class which quickly changed his course, leading to working a harvest at Wither Hills in New Zealand as well as pulling time at multiple wine shops from Vancouver to Washington DC and Los Angeles. With a BA in Philosophy and Psychology from Cornell University and a MA in Social Psychology from the University of British Columbia, it's no wonder Fishman has a knack for "listening" to what each vineyard and vintage brings with it.

Kenneth Juhasz: Consulting Winemaker

Kenneth Juhasz (YOU haas) began his winemaking career dragging hoses in a cold cellar in Oregon. His interest in enology had grown as he worked his way through school in fine restaurants and the local wine shop in his native North Carolina. After college, Kenneth eagerly pursued his passion for Pinot Noir west to the Willamette Valley. There he began working with winemaker Ken Bernards, who became Kenneth's mentor over the next few years. When Juhasz came to Carneros in 2002, Bernards helped him to create and launch the "ultimate Pinot Noir project" at The Donum Estate and to develop a fresh identity for the Robert Stemmler label. Kenneth was appointed winemaker for both Donum and Robert Stemmler in 2005. Committed to working tirelessly through each harvest and to obtaining maximum quality in the vineyards with wine grower Anne Moller-Racke, Kenneth has succeeded in creating wines of power and elegance that are true expressions of site. While enhancing his knowledge with forays to Oregon and the South Island of New Zealand, where he spearheaded a start-up Pinot Noir operation at Hinton Estate, Kenneth remains dedicated to producing outstanding wines from estate vineyards in the Carneros and Russian River Valley appellations. He also produces fine Burgundian varietal wines from Sonoma, Mendocino and Oregon's Willamette Valley under his own label, Auteur.

The Team

Anne Moller-Racke: President and Winegrower

A native of Oberwesel, Germany, Anne Moller-Racke came to California in the early eighties and became vineyard manager for Buena Vista Carneros Winery in 1983. She was named director of vineyard operations in 1988 and was promoted to vice president of vineyard operations in 1997. During that time, Moller-Racke worked intensively with some of the industry's foremost authorities, including Andre Tchelistcheff, Dr. Phil Freese and Dr. Paul Skinner. She helped establish what is now the Carneros Wine Alliance and brought recognition to Carneros as an American Viticultural Area (AVA).

Moller-Racke was instrumental in developing Buena Vistas Carneros Estate, expanding the planted acreage from 540 in the 1980's to 935 a decade later. In the late 1990s, she replanted over 500 acres, carefully innovating viticultural practices and selecting rootstocks, clones, trellising and irrigation techniques for each vineyard block.

In 2001 Moller-Racke was asked to lead the Donum Estate project. Today she continues to farm 70 acres of vines at the home ranch in Carneros and 16-acre in the Russian River Valley, the Winside Vineyard, as well as working closely with the Angel Camp Vineyard in Anderson Valley. Moller-Racke brings a vast knowledge of the appellations and sites to her role as wine grower. She has truly become a wine grower, sheparding the grapes from vine to bottle. As president, Moller-Racke's management style inspires a committed team to work with the utmost pride and care on the ultimate Pinot Noir project.

Lauro Servin: Vineyard Foreman

Lauro grew up in Zamora in the state of Michoacan, Mexico, and came to the United States in 1987. He joined his brother, Francisco Servin, at Peter Nissen's vineyard management company. Ironically, Lauro's first job in the U.S. was helping replant what was then the Tula Vista Vineyard, known today as the Donum Ranch. Overseeing the replanting was none other than Anne Moller-Racke, then director of vineyard operations for Buena Vista Winery. Lauro worked for Nissen for 11 years, then joined Francisco's vineyard management company for another decade. Former Donum vineyard manager Nabor Camarena approached Lauro about a position as Nabor's replacement. "I said, yes, I certainly know the ranch!" Lauro says. Returning to the vineyard has brought back lots of memories, he says, including when the roof of the old milk barn (now converted into winery offices) blew off and landed in the driveway. Lauro asserts that he learns something new every day now, and he finds the greatest differences in 20 years are equipment improvements, new vine spacings, trellising techniques and plant materials, and an intense focus on details to enhance quality.

Shannon Muracchioli: Director of Sales & Hospitality


Two years into a chemistry major at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Shannon stumbled upon the viniculture department on campus and instantly fell head over heels in love. Wasting no time, she changed her studies to concentrate in viniculture and public relations, carving a path that would lead to a career in the wine industry. Upon graduating, Shannon spent almost a decade in the Paso Robles wine region before packing up her things with a dream of making the Bay Area her home. Since landing in Northern California, Shannon helped open and launch Ram's Gate Winery as well as worked with Michael Mondavi and Folio Fine Wines as the Consumer Direct Marketing Manager. The start of 2014 brought with it good fortune as Shannon was invited to join the team at Donum Estate and was thrilled to jump on board. Her favorite thing about working in the industry are the countless moments surrounded by good company, delicious wines and a sincere appreciation for the fruit and labor that goes into each bottle... of course, beginning her journey as a viniculture major also makes a good pair of jeans, dirty boots, and rows and rows of vines top the list as well.

Teresa Harrison: National Sales Manager

Patty Ketchum: Controller

Patty Ketchum, born in Jakarta and raised in Bali, dreamt of seeing the world at an early age while going to school with children from the diplomatic community in her country. Her love for numbers started when helping her father correcting student quizes. Those interests have stayed with her; she was accepted into Monterey Peninsula College as an undergraduate. With her BA in Accounting, Patty has made her professional home the wine industry. She made her first foray into the wine industry when she joined the accounting team at Clos Pegase. After more than a decade working in financial world, Patty has found her niche at Donum Estate as Controller. Her positive attitude and lovely smile add another dimension to crunching numbers and creating balance sheets. Patty lives with her two daughters in Napa, CA. In her free time between practicing her native Balinese dance and challenging her girls playing competitive soccer, she also trains and runs half marathons.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

The Donum Estate comprises three vineyards uniquely suited to Pinot Noir, all farmed by Anne Moller-Racke to the same high standards. Planted by Anne in 1989-90, the Donum Ranch includes 45 acres of vines divided into 11 blocks and sub-blocks. A variety of Pinot Noir clones and selections grows here, including "heirlooms" like Calera, Chalone, Hanzell, Martini, Roederer and Swan, and Dijon clones 115, 667 and 777.

Winside Vineyard rests on relatively level ground in the heart of the Russian River Valley. Anne helped plant 11 acres of vines in 1997, divided equally between Dijon clones 115 and 667, and another five acres were planted to a Pommard selection in 2009.
Angel Camp Vineyard in the Anderson Valley is an 11-acre property planted to 2A, David Bruce, Martini and Swan Pinot Noir selections as well as Dijon clones 115, 667 and 828. Donum harvested 11 tons of fruit here in 2011.

Our vineyards are living, complex, ever-evolving systems - works in progress. Our experience with them spans decades, yet we continue to learn as we coax more quality and fruit expression from each block, row and vine.

Awards

Wine Enthusiast:

2011 Russian River Reserve Pinot Noir - 94
2011 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir - 94
2011 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir - 93
2011 Cameros Estate Pinot Noir - 93

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Hours

Open by appointment only.

Address

PO BOX 154
Sonoma, California 95476
United States

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