People

 

Chris Donatiello

Chris Donatiello has spent his entire adult life in wine and spirits.  After Graduating from the University of Oklahoma, he went back to his native New Jersey and started as a merchandiser, setting up displays in liquor stores throughout the state.  He moved on to sales positions in Delaware, New Jersey, and New York, eventually rising to the level of On Premise Sales Director for New York’s largest distributor.

After many years in New York Chris headed west to expand his understanding of wine, farming, and terroir.  His goal was to make wine with great character and a sense of place. 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.

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.  

Chris is an active member of the Russian River Valley Winegrowers Board of Directors and former president of the organization. He is also on the board of the Farm Bureau Foundation and part of the Sonoma County Winegrowers marketing committee.  In his spare time he enjoys working out, playing rugby, cooking, and spending time with friends. 

 

Lisa Weast

Born in Los Angeles and raised in the San Fernando Valley. Lisa starting working in the Food & Beverage industry at sixteen years old.  At twenty-one she joined the US Navy and spent four years as a steel worker with the “Seabees” Construction Battalion preforming all different types of vertical construction including welding, heavy equipment operating, framing and concrete work. Lisa was deployed to Guam and Afghanistan, and served under Operation Enduring Freedom.

After her discharge from active duty Lisa moved to Arizona and resumed work in the Food and Beverage industry where her heart and passion have always been. Living near Laughlin Nevada Lisa worked in the casino industry.  By twenty-six she was a casino manager at the Aquarius Casino using her regimented leadership skills, Seabee “Can Do” spirit, and flexibility to overcome diversity while she oversaw three restaurants and two full casino bars. Shortly after starting a family Lisa wanted to spend more time at home so she resigned from her position with the casino and moved to Sonoma County California.

Her experience naturally led her to a hospitality position in the wine industry  She was hired with Kunde Family Winery. Kunde provided a wealth of education covering wine making, wales, wine club, wine education, and a general understanding of basic vineyard practices. After a few years and enough knowledge of Wine and Wine Business it was time to take her management skills and put them to use in the Wine Industry. Lisa accepted a position as the Tasting Room Manager of C. Donatiello Winery and is enjoying her role in the small business world. She is able to spend the evenings with her family and is home for the holidays. She couldn’t be happier!