It’s hard to believe, but here at Donum we wrapped up our 2022 Harvest on September 2, by far the earliest vintage in our history. A combination of drought, early bud break, and warm days led to quick ripening, and with a massive heat wave looming over Labor Day weekend, we were happy to finish picking. The quality of the fruit was outstanding, and all indications are that 2022 will be a great vintage for Donum.
This club shipment includes wine from a vintage with its own unique story, 2020, which was defined by the wildfires that erupted in late August, as well as the heat wave that preceded the fires. We knew that we had to act quickly to harvest as much fruit as possible before smoke damage set-in, and our crews worked tirelessly to harvest the grapes. Thanks to these efforts, we were able to make some fantastic wines, although the overall production was quite low, about 50% of normal, because we rejected from the final blends any lots that showed any impact from the smoke.
Our fall offering includes wines from our Estate vineyard in Carneros, which was spared the worst of the smoke thanks to being about 50 miles away from the fires. First is the Three Hills Pinot Noir, which is blended from the cooler pockets of the vineyard as well as from the earlier picked blocks, yielding an elegant, refined wine with impeccable balance. Next, the Carneros Pinot Noir, blended from some of the warmer, later picked sites on the Estate, resulting in a Pinot with a little more richness and palate weight, as well as fruit that leans a little more toward the dark fruit spectrum. Lastly, the West Slope, a reserve Pinot Noir sourced from a single block of the oldest vines on the ranch. The thicker skins on the grapes results in a wine with more structure, while the vine-age gives incredible complexity of flavor and depth on the palate.
All these wines will benefit from a little time in the cellar, with prime drinking from 2023 through 2028. The West Slope will continue to develop several years beyond that.
Thank you for your continuous support of Donum, and happy Harvest!
Vice President, Winemaking and Vineyards
Learn more about the wines included in our fall allocations by listening to Dan Fishman, Vice President of Winemaking & Vineyards, Winemaker, discuss the 2020 winegrowing season, the unique terroir of our Carneros Estate, and the distinct profile and characteristics of each wine in the videos below.