Started by Joe Donelan in 2009 after he had spent some years working on a different winery project and decided to branch out, Donelan Wines is a true family operation now run by Joe and his sons Tripp and Cushing. The Donelan’s focus is on making boutique wines that showcase the unique Sonoma County vineyards they are sourced from. With an affinity for cool-climate syrahs and Rhône blends, they produce a range of extremely limited production wines, many of which are only available to their wine club (though they may make an exception if you are tasting with them and they have a few bottles available for sale). Visit their production facility and hospitality space in an industrial area in Santa Rosa, where tastings include a seated tasting of four to six wines. Just don’t miss the very limited production syrahs, for which the winery has garnered four 100 point scores.
If you are a fan of French Rhône blends such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape or Northern Rhône-style syrahs you will be pleasantly surprised at the subtlety, balance, and elegance of Donelan’s Cuvee Moriah and Cuvee Christine.
Image courtesy of Donelan Family Wines