Donkey + Goat Winery
Making wines as naturally as possible
Tracey and Jared Brandt risked it all to get into the wine business. Leaving their careers in the tech industry, they travelled to France and were taken under the wing by industry icon Eric Texier in the Rhone Valley. It was there that their natural wine journey began. Returning to southern California in 2003, they set up in a friend’s garage, adopting the French ‘Garagiste Winemaking’ style, which is where they remain today.
Their manifesto is simple: organic and sustainably farmed grapes, allowing only the native yeast from the grapes to ferment, employing the use of low-intervention winemaking techniques like concrete vats and neutral French oak open top fermenters, and adding minimal sulphite addition before bottling to stabilize the wine. It’s a straight-forward recipe, but one that takes a lot of management and balance in order to create a spectacular wine. Donkey + Goat believe the natural method delivers the best possible quality product that you can feel good about supporting and putting in your body. As Tracey says, “We strive to make wines as naturally as possible. We’ve done so since day one. Of late, natural is fashionable, which we do of course appreciate, but the reality is we’ve done this from the start because we feel it makes a superior wine while aligning with our environment objectives.”