Donatiello Leaves Hambrecht Wine Group

Donatiello Leaves Hambrecht Wine Group

Chris Donatiello, who founded his C. Donatiello Winery in 2006 in the Russian River Valley, has severed his association with Hambrecht Wine Group, where he was CEO, and gone out on his own.

The brand produces high-end bottlings of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, many of them vineyard-designated. Hambrecht Wine Group, owned by the financier Bill Hambrecht, also owns the Healdsburg Ranches and Brandford Mountain wine brands in California. Hambrecht co-founded the C. Donatiello brand along with Mr. Donatiello.

Donatiello said he left Hambrecht Wine Group due to “directional differences. Bill [Hambrecht] wants to focus on the brands that express his vineyard holdings.”

Since Hambrecht owns the current site of C. Donatiello, on Westside Road on the site of the old Belvedere Winery, Donatiello is now looking for a new production facility and tasting room for his winery. “Bill generously said we can stay on the property for a month or two,” said Donatiello. “We’re talking to some custom crush people [for future production], but a new tasting room is our number one priority.” Donatiello would like for it to be in the east-central part of the Russian River Valley.

C. Donatiello’s winemaker, Web Marquez, will remain with the winery, according to Donatiello. “I want people to know that we’ll continue what we’re doing. This won’t affect quality or production,” he said.

Published on January 7, 2011