To say Chris is the only person that matters would be grossly negligent. From the vineyard managers and workers, to all the people in the cellars, the volunteers who help us sort grapes and the folks on the bottling line, our materials suppliers and all the people that work for them, there are teams of folks who never get their due credit for making our wine as good as it is. To them we say THANK YOU!
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 and spending time with his three children.