Winemaking team led by Dan Fishman, recognized for applying regenerative, organic farming principles to every step of the winemaking process
SONOMA, Calif. (August 3, 2022) – The Donum Estate, a leader in Estate Grown single vineyard, single appellation Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from some of Northern California’s most celebrated regions, is pleased to announce that it has just received organic certification from the California Certified Organic Farming Association ( CCOF) for all four estate vineyards in Carneros, Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast.
Led by Dan Fishman, Vice President of Winemaking and Vineyards, Donum’s winemaking philosophy has never wavered: to produce the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in California while preserving natural resources. To achieve this, the winemaking team is constantly innovating and testing new techniques and growing practices. These include soil enrichment with compost and compost tea to increase the soil’s ability to accommodate organic activity, integrated pest management and encouraging biodiversity in and around the vineyards.
“Our goal is to create wines of exceptional quality that convey the unique character of the vineyards where the grapes are grown,” said Fishman. “In order for the vines to give a true expression of the land, it is crucial to start with healthy, vibrant soils. Achieving CCOF certification is a milestone as it reinforces our commitment to work with products that respect the soil, the many organisms that inhabit our vineyard and the surrounding land. This certification marks both the culmination of a three-year transition away from synthetic inputs and the beginning of a generational commitment to working in harmony with nature to grow the best wine grapes possible, while giving more back to the land than we take each year.”
Ferguson Winery in Carneros and Estate Winery in the Russian River Valley were certified organic in June 2022. Also in Carneros, Donum Estate Home Ranch was certified organic in July 2022. Located just five miles from the sea with west-facing slopes exposed to onshore winds, Donum’s newest winery, Bodega, has been certified organic since inception and will bear its first harvest in 2024. The Donum Estate’s proximity to San Pablo Bay and the strong winds it generates in Carneros make Donum uniquely prepared to work with the extreme climate found in the Bodega Estate Vineyard.
Director of Viticulture, Tony Chapman adds: “In the three years that we have converted Donum’s vineyards to organic farming, we have seen our greatest resource thrive, our soil. The well-being of our soil promotes the health of our vineyards and the wider ecosystem at Donum. We are actively increasing our biodiversity, supporting carbon sequestration and increasing our resilience to difficult growing conditions.”
Donum’s ecological practices include the production and use of biochar, a special form of charcoal produced when biomass is heated at high temperatures in oxygen-poor environments. To demonstrate this underutilized tool, Donum co-hosted a seminar for the local wine industry with the Sonoma Ecology Center in partnership with Monterey Pacific Inc. and Pacific Biochar. Biochar brings many benefits to soil including increased water holding capacity, increased organic matter and better nutrient availability. When produced properly, it captures carbon and puts it into a stable form that is locked in the soil, preventing it from contributing to atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Fishman has been part of the winemaking team since 2007 and was promoted in 2012 to oversee winemaking and is entering his 11th harvest as Head Winemaker. Fishman was promoted to Vice-President, Winemaking & Vineyards in 2019, with oversight of all Estate Vineyards, and immediately began the transition to organic farming. Tony Chapman joined the team in 2019 and was instrumental in guiding Donum through the organic certification process while introducing regenerative practices such as livestock (sheep, chickens and ducks) in the vineyards and biochar integration.
For more information and to reserve a private tasting, please visit www.thedonumestate.com. Follow us on Instagram @DonumEstate and Facebook www.facebook.com/donumestate and join our conversation with #TheDonumEstate.
The estate Donum
Donum’s terroir-driven wines reflect the energy and complexity of some of Northern California’s most celebrated regions, including the Russian River Valley, Carneros and Anderson Valley. Established in 2001, Donum Estate is located in the renowned Carneros wine region, nestled between Napa and Sonoma counties. Donum includes a state-of-the-art winemaking facility, an organic farm, a culinary garden, a contemporary hotel experience and one of the largest accessible private sculpture collections in the world. Donum brings to life a delicate balance of wine, land and art that has made it an international destination. For the past two decades, sustainability has been at the forefront of Donum Estate’s vision – Donum is Latin for ‘gift of the land’. His biodynamic and organic farming methods create environments in which the vines can thrive and produce fruit of the highest quality. Learn more at https://www.thedonumestate.com