C. Donatiello Winery
Summary: Discover C. Donatiello Winery, a winery that produces primarily Chardonnay and Pinot Noir using specific vineyards for each style of wine. A visit to C. Donatiello must include a visit to the gardens where visitors will discover a one-acre garden with a section devoted to the fragrances found in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
In 2006, Christopher Donatiello purchased Belvedere Winery and property renaming it C. Donatiello. The first vintage for C. Donatiello was 2006. The winery produces 5,900 cases of wine. Wines produced are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Christopher wants the grapes to express themselves. The small portfolio is vineyard specific and customers order wine based on vineyard preference. Visitors to the tasting room will taste the wines in a flight allowing them to compare the same varietal from different vineyards and experience the effects of “terroir.”
One of the first things we noticed in the winery was how clean it was. Floors and equipment were spotless. Outside, the sorting table, destemmer and press are set up to take advantage of gravity flow. Inside, stainless steel tanks and oak barrels age the wines. An automated basket press adds to the versatility in the winery.
The tasting room is large with a high ceiling. A large wall map shows the location of the C. Donatiello vineyards in Russian River Valley. Outside of the tasting room a large patio area is available with tables, chairs and umbrellas. This is a perfect location to enjoy a glass of wine with friends.
The gardens are exquisite with dramatic landscaping. In the distance, vineyards add to the ambiance of the winery. Despite the extensive gardens, they are well maintained. Christopher visited several aroma gardens and decided he wanted the aroma garden at the winery to reflect the aromas found in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. As you visit the gardens you will notice that the individual plants are well labeled. The gardens include a variety of fruits, flowers and herbs. The plants are separated by the aromas found in the wines. The Chardonnay aroma garden includes apples, lemon verbena, sage, figs and nectarines. The Pinot Noir garden includes pears, raspberries, blueberries, almonds, peaches, plums and strawberries.
Chardonnay, 809 Clone 2008 from the Russian River Valley was aged in neutral oak for four months. The aroma was of citrus notes and the taste had nuances of apples and citrus. The finish was crisp with citrus notes. Chardonnay, Branley Vineyard 2007 Russian River Valley was aged in 50 percent new French oak. The aroma offered notes of oak and mineral. The taste had mineral, apple and oak nuances. The crisp finish was accompanied by apple notes. Chardonnay, Orsi Vineyard 2007 Russian River Valley is Christopher’s favorite wine. It had an aroma and taste of apple, citrus and caramel nuances. The taste also had mineral notes. The crisp finish offered layers of fruit and mineral notes. Chardonnay, Maddie’s Vineyard 2007 Russian River Valley had a green apple aroma with a heavier body mouth feel. The finish was crisp with apple and citrus notes.
Pinot Noir Wines
Pinot Noir 2006, Russian River Valley was produced with 40 percent new oak. The resulting wine is a red translucent color with red fruit aromas. The taste offered nuances of raspberries and red cherries. The finish was crisp and fruity with mild tannins. C. Donatiello produced 2,700 cases of this wine and it is nationally distributed. Pinot Noir 2007, Maddie’s Vineyard Russian River Valley was produced using 50 percent French oak. The aroma was floral with notes of roses. The taste had strawberry, red fruit and rose nuances. The crisp finish was fruity with mild tannins. Pinot Noir, 2007, Floodgate Vineyard Russian River Valley was produced from grapes from a hillside vineyard planted with older vines planted in 1972 as well as more recent vines planted in 1997 and 2005. The wine was aged in 50% new French oak. There were mineral and red fruit nuances on the aroma while the taste had red fruit notes. The finish was fruity with tannins.
When you plan your visit to C. Donatiello, reserve time to enjoy a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir while ambling through the aroma gardens.
C. Donatiello Winery
4035 Westside Road
Healdsburg, California 95448
GPS: N38º 33.837’ W122º 52.339’
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