Donati Family Vineyards, Meet Nicole Donati
As a young boy, Ron Donati grew up in South San Francisco, the son of a first generation Italian-American family. One of his fondest memories was the sights and smells of his grandfather making wine in his basement. Like most Italian immigrants, Albino Donati made his own wine for the family dinner table. As an adult, Ron became a successful entrepreneur with a penchant for making quality products that were attainable to all, not just a select few. This same passion serves as the foundation and guiding mission of Donati Family Vineyard today.
The Donati Family Estate Vineyard site enjoys a variety of soils from limestone to decomposed granite to clay loam, and access to the cooling ocean breezes of the Monterey Bay. Like much of southern Napa, Sonoma, and Monterey counties, Paicines has long warm days followed by cool nights.
The vineyard is planted to various select clones of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Syrah, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc and Petit Verdot. Vine selections are carefully screened for viral diseases prior to planting, ensuring that the future of the vineyard is secure, and that vine health and fruit integrity remain intact from planting through harvest.
The Donatis believes in hands-on year-round vineyard management to create an environment where the grapes themselves can be left alone to thrive during ripening. Regular, judicious thinning of shoots during the growing season, attention to every detail of vine canopy training and light management within the fruiting zone, pre and post-veraison green fruit removal, along with scientific analysis of soil and leaf moisture throughout the growing season ensures that every aspect of the Donati Estate viticultural program contributes to the success of the vintage.
Primary efforts are directed at sustainable farming, allowing for natural predators and reduced use of pesticides to provide a clean, hospitable environment for vine growth and fruit maturation. Of course, this path of action requires extreme diligence in scouting for possible problems. But, with active personnel regularly hand-tending each and every vine, the family is gradually learning that effective and efficient sustainable practices can indeed make a significant difference in both the local environment and in the ultimate grape and wine quality.
Once the grapes arrive at the winery they are again inspected for quality. For our white wine program a whole cluster press is used to extract the juice. After a gentle pressing, the juice is immediately transferred to stainless steel fermenters for a 24 hour cold settling. The white juice will ferment for approximately 30 days, yielding no residual sugar. Post primary fermentation the whites are fined and filtered before being botted the following spring to preserve the aromatic qualities in each variety.
Red grapes are de-stemmed and pumped directly into the fermentation tanks. Utilizing both static and open top fermenters in our program. During fermentation the must is allowed to reach temperatures up to 85F to extract the intense color and flavors the Donati wines are known for. The red varietals will ferment for 7-10 days, then the wine is racked to another tank and the remaining skins, seeds, and pulp is gently pressed.
The aging process for our red wines begins in a combination of both French and American oak barrels from a select group of coopers. The red wines are barrel aged for 12-18 months. During this time, a continuous sensory assessment of each lot gives us the ability to designate the premium lots for our higher-end wines. When those lots are selected the wine is racked and blended and stored in barrels until bottling. The red wines are bottled un-fined and unfiltered to preserve natural flavors and aromas the grape varietals have to offer.
Nicole Donati will be in store, she lives and is based in Colorado. Nicole is part of the sales team and a Donati family member. Over the past two years we have gotten to Nicole. This will be here second time in for a WNW! We are excited to have her back in the store – she is fun, extremely knowledgeable and represents what we love about wine, good people. Make sure to stop in and say hi!
Cab Franc :: Reg $24 Sale $21
100% Barrel Aged; 22 months, 37% New French Oak, 18% New American Oak
Aroma: Raspberry, violets, tobacco
Palate: Red berry fruit, medium bodied, firm tannins
Blend: 76% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon
Sisters Chard :: Reg $15 Sale $13
100% Stainless Steel Fermented & Stored
Aroma: Stonefruit, banana, citrus
Palate: Lush mouthfeel with crisp acidity on the finish
Claret :: Reg $18 Sale $15
48% Cabernet Sauvignon 30% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 9% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot
100% Stainless Steel Fermented Twice daily punch-downs and pump overs
100% Barrel Aged; 23 months; 5% New French Oak, 2% New American Oak
Aromas of cherry, vanilla and toast Palate: Candied cherry, soft lush tannins and acid
Ezio :: Reg $35 Sale $31
%100 Cabernet Sauvignon
100% Barrel Aged; 23 months; 31% New French Oak, 4% New American Oak, 4% Eastern European Oak
Black cherry, leather, earth and toast Palate: Rich mid-palate with lush tannins and moderate acid
Do you like trying new wines? Come check out our Wine Share Tasting this Saturday! Our Wine Share is our version of a Wine Club, we hand select every bottle from family vineyards every month for you. In addition to picking outstanding wines we send you an email with the history of the families, regions, tasting notes and pairing suggestion.
We start sippin’ and tastin’ at 4pm. Hope you can make it! Tag your pics #pickitupatpearl and #Neverabadbottle so we can CHEERS!
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