Winemaking team led by Dan Fishman recognized for applying regenerative, organic farming principles to every step of the winegrowing process
SONOMA, California (August 3, 2022) – The Donum Estate, a leader in Estate Grown single-vineyard, single-appellation Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from some of the most celebrated regions in Northern California, is thrilled to announce it has just achieved 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 Vice President of Winemaking and Vineyards, Dan Fishman, Donum’s winemaking philosophy has never wavered: to make the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in California while also preserving natural resources. To achieve this, the winemaking team is constantly innovating, and testing new techniques and farming practices. This includes soil enrichment using compost and compost tea to help increase the soil’s ability to hold organic activity, integrated pest management, and encouraging biodiversity in and around the vineyards.
“Our goal is to create wines of exceptional quality that communicate the unique character of the vineyards in which the grapes are grown,” said Fishman. “In order for the vines to yield a true expression of the land, it is critical to start with healthy, living soils. Achieving CCOF Certification is a milestone as it solidifies our commitment to work with products that respect the soil, the many organisms that call our vineyard home, and the surrounding land. This certification represents both the culmination of a three-year transition away from synthetic inputs, and well as the beginning of a generational commitment to working in harmony with nature to grow the best possible wine grapes, while also giving back more to the land than we take each year.”
The Ferguson Vineyard in Carneros and Estate vineyard in the Russian River Valley were certified organic in June 2022. Also in Carneros, the Donum Estate Home Ranch was certified organic in July 2022. Donum’s newest vineyard, Bodega, which sits just five miles from the ocean with western facing slopes exposed to onshore winds, has been certified organic since its inception, and will bear its first crop in 2024. The Donum Estate’s proximity to the San Pablo Bay and the powerful wind it generates in Carneros makes Donum uniquely prepared to work with the extreme climate at the Bodega Estate Vineyard.
Director of Winegrowing, Tony Chapman, adds “Over the three years of converting Donum’s vineyards to organic we’ve seen our greatest resource thrive, our soil. The wellbeing of our soil drives the health of our vineyards and the broader ecosystem at Donum. We’re actively increasing our biodiversity, supporting carbon-sequestration, and increasing our resiliency to difficult growing conditions.”
Donum’s organic practices include producing and utilizing biochar, a specialized form of charcoal created when biomass is heated at a high temperature in low oxygen environments. To demonstrate this underutilized tool, Donum hosted a seminar open to the local wine industry with the Sonoma Ecology Center, in partnership with Monterey Pacific Inc. and Pacific Biochar. Biochar brings many benefits to the soil, including increased water holding capacity, increased organic matter, and better nutrient availability. When properly produced it captures carbon and puts it into a stable form trapped in the soil, preventing it from contributing to atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Part of the winemaking team since 2007, Fishman was promoted to oversee the winemaking in 2012 and is heading into 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 has been integral in shepherding Donum through the Organic Certification process while introducing regenerative practices such as livestock (sheep, chickens, and ducks) in the vineyards, as well as the integration of biochar.
For more information and to inquire about a private tasting experience reservation, please visit www.thedonumestate.com. Follow us on Instagram @DonumEstate and Facebook www.facebook.com/donumestate and join our conversation using #TheDonumEstate.
The Donum Estate
Donum’s terroir-driven wines reflect the energy and complexity of some of the most celebrated regions in Northern California including the Russian River Valley, Carneros and Anderson Valley. Founded in 2001, the Donum Estate is located in the acclaimed wine region Carneros nestled between Napa and Sonoma Counties. Donum includes a state-of-the-art winemaking facility, an organic farm, culinary garden, contemporary hospitality experience and one of the largest accessible private sculpture collections in the world. Donum brings to life a delicate balance among wine, land and art that has made it an international destination. For the past two decades, sustainability has been at the forefront of the Donum Estate vision—Donum, in fact, is Latin for Gift of the land. Its biodynamic and organic farming practices create environments in which the vines can thrive and produce the highest-quality fruit possible. Learn more at https://www.thedonumestate.com