The Russian River Valley is a large and diverse appellation. Each neighborhood reveals itself in a different way. The Warmth of the Middle Reach, gives us the higher toned fruit. In the Sebastapol Hills, cooled by the Pacific Ocean via the Petaluma Wind Gap, wines are leaner and earthier. The Laguna Ridge provides a lush midpalate. Wine from the Santa Rosa Plain show more tannin, and helps to form the backbone of the wine.
In creating our Russian River Pinot Noir, we source from a number of vineyard sites throughout the appellation. Each site represents a unique expression of Russian River Valley terroir. We chose these vineyards to create a blend that exemplifies the classic character of Russian River Pinot Noir: broad, luscious, and velvety.
After many years in New York on the sales marketing side of wine and spirits, and one too many frustrations about how great vineyards were being homogenized by big corporations, Chris headed west to make great wines with character. Having worked with many well-known luxury brands and some of the top restaurants in the world, Chris was eager to combine his business expertise, entrepreneurial spirit, and love of wine. Creating a winery in the Russian River Valley that focuses on the fruit and the land, C. Donatiello Winery shows the delicate balance between the character of the land and the skill of the winemaker.
Chris enjoys the challenge of working with classic varietals to evoke a powerful sense of place. Using traditional methods and modern equipment, his goal with C. Donatiello Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is to deliver an experience that is vivid, individualistic, and memorable. In doing so, he’s creating wine that exemplifies both the Russian River Valley, and the man behind the name.
At C. Donatiello, Chris works to craft wines that are representative of their terroir and that are a joy to drink. They do this by spending long hours in the vineyards and treating the grapes with care and respect. Chris particularly loves making Russian River Valley wines because of both their esteemed history and bright fresh palate. He has tremendous aging potential of the wines from the region.