The Donum estate obtains organic certification for all of the estate’s vineyards: Carneros, Ferguson, Russian River Valley and Bodega


The winemaking team led by Dan Fishman is recognized for applying the principles of regenerative organic agriculture to every step of the viticulture process

SONOMA, Calif. (August 3, 2022) – The Donum Estate, a leader in single-vineyard, single-appellation Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from some of Northern California’s most famous regions, is thrilled to announce that it has just achieved organic certification. from the California Certified Organic Farming Association (CCOF) for the estate’s four 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 produce California’s finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay while conserving natural resources. To achieve this, the winemaking team is constantly innovating and testing new techniques and cultivation practices. This includes enriching the soil using compost and compost tea to help increase the soil’s ability to maintain organic activity, integrated pest management and promoting biodiversity in and around vineyards .

“Our goal is to create wines of exceptional quality that communicate the unique character of the vineyards in which the grapes are grown,” Fishman said. “For the vines to be a true expression of the terroir, it is essential to start from healthy and living soils. Obtaining CCOF certification is an important step because it reinforces our commitment to working with products that respect the soil, the many organisms that inhabit our vineyard and the surrounding land. This certification represents both the culmination of a three-year transition away from synthetic inputs, as well as the beginning of a generational commitment to working in harmony with nature to grow the best possible wine grapes, while giving back more to the land we take each year.

The Ferguson Vineyard in Carneros and the estate’s vineyard in the Russian River Valley were certified organic in June 2022. Also in Carneros, Donum Estate Home Ranch was certified organic in July 2022. Donum’s newest vineyard, Bodega , which sits just five miles from the ocean with westerly-facing slopes exposed to onshore winds, has been certified organic since its inception and will bear its first harvest in 2024. The Donum Estate’s proximity to the Bay of San Pablo and the powerful wind it generates in Carneros make Donum a unique preparation to work with the extreme climate of the Bodega Estate Vineyard.

Director of Viticulture, Tony Chapman, adds, “In the three years of converting Donum’s vineyards to organic farming, we’ve seen our greatest resource thrive, our soil. The well-being of our soil drives the health of our vineyards and the wider Donum ecosystem. We actively increase our biodiversity, support carbon sequestration and increase our resilience to harsh growing conditions.

Donum’s organic practices include the production and use of biochar, a specialized form of charcoal created when biomass is heated to high temperatures 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 improved nutrient availability. When properly produced, it captures carbon and puts it in a stable form trapped in the ground, preventing it from contributing to atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Part of the winemaking team since 2007, Fishman was promoted to oversee winemaking in 2012 and is heading into his 11th harvest as head winemaker. Fishman was promoted to Vice President, Winemaking and Vineyards in 2019, overseeing all of the estate’s vineyards, and immediately began the transition to organic farming. Tony Chapman joined the team in 2019 and has been instrumental in leading Donum through the organic certification process while introducing regenerative practices such as herding (sheep, chickens and ducks) in the vineyards, as well as the integration of biochar.

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The domain of Donum

Donum’s terroir wines reflect the energy and complexity of some of Northern California’s most famous regions, including the Russian River Valley, Carneros and Anderson Valley. Founded in 2001, The Donum Estate is located in the famed Carneros wine country, nestled between Napa and Sonoma counties. Donum includes a state-of-the-art winemaking facility, 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 between 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, in fact, is Latin for Gift of the Land. Its biodynamic and organic farming practices create environments in which vines can thrive and produce the highest quality fruit possible. Learn more at


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