Donelan: Wine is a Journey Not a Destination
Normally, I would just write about a winery in a destination round up post, but my experience at Donelan deserved so much more! Even this post may not be enough to explain the amazing experience I had there. The only thing I wish I did differently is I wish I took more pictures! I guess that means I need to return! More on Donelan and what bottles I purchase will be in the Sonoma Itinerary, but until then feel free to enjoy the read of my experience at Donelan!
3352-D Coffey Lane
Santa Rosa, California 95403
The tasting room isn't a huge room or bar with multiple appointments and groups crowding around. So if you are looking for the next stop on your bachelorette trip I'd advise that you look elsewhere. If I learned anything from my experience is that Donelan was about the experience, it was about making me feel welcomed and a part of how and why this family makes wine. I learned so much, it was a very relaxed tasting, Tripp was there to answer all of our questions. He was very welcoming and walked us around the space. I liked that he not only served us but did the tasting with us as well.
This was a more personable and quaint experience which I really appreciated. Tripp himself sits with you and walks you through each bottle of wine. He talks about how they are made, which winery they come from and he even shares which family member the wine is named after. He sits down with you and just talks, he is opened to questions and if you know NOTHING about wine he will gladly help you through the tasting. We went here with two of our friends who are more beer drinkers than wine drinkers and Tripp was able to talk about beer making and related to wine to help them understand. That I thought was really impressive it made the conversations more relatable for them too.
If you want to experience the wonders Donelan wines give and let him know I sent you! You can give him my name Marie Leon or my boyfriend's name Alex Dulwick, Alex is on the mailing list so Tripp might recognize that name better. I don't make many trips to Sonoma, but now I feel like we have too! Trust me you will NOT be disappointed after your visit here.
Okay, so I am sure we have all gone to a new winery and have tried the wine and feel like everything tastes the same. I know I have visited places like this a time or two. I can't express enough how every bottle of Donelan wine is so different. The quality of the wine is strong throughout each vintage, but each wine is unique in flavor. Almost as unique as the names they carry. The best part about the unique flavors is that Tripp is there to talk you through all of them! The two bottles that stand out the most to me are Tripp's Block and Walker Vine Hill. The Tripp's Block is a smoky pinot that he describes as a cigar box. The smells and flavors of this wine really took you to a cigar shop and the relaxing atmosphere. The Walker Vine Hill is a syrah that has flavors of blue fruit. That to me was very unique I could really taste the blueberries and tannins on the palate. More in depth reviews on this wine to come soon!