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16 Important Names To Know In Natural Wine (Plus An Entire Country)

# 1 Tracey and Jared Brandt of Donkey & Goat….American husband and wife Jared and Tracey Brandt went to Europe to follow their passion: wine.  Their homage to Châteauneuf-du-Pape called 513 is dense, like great old-world Grenache-based wines, it still shows an exuberance of fruit and acidity that is decidedly new.

March 21 — Oakland, CA — Bay Grape

Join us and many more for the Pet Nat Zoo tasting at Bay Grape.  5 PM to 9 PM

Nice write up on StoneCrusher.

The Chef immediately declared it an excellent wine for pairing with vegetables, especially the Kaboucha squash and mild Thai red chili soup she had made that afternoon. As we slowly tasted our way through the bottle—finishing the last glass with Blue Lupine, a blue cow and goat cheese from Weirauche Farm and Creamery in Sonoma.


March 14 — Berkeley, CA — Pickup Party @ Donkey & Goat

We recently had the honor of hosting a very special event where Chez Panisse alumni Anthony Sueuga spent an entire afternoon preparing Spanish Paella over an open fire in our back yard. The Paella was sublime and the afternoon spent watching (and smelling) his art was unforgettable. We are thrilled to have convinced Anthony to return for our (members only) pick up party.It is not too late to join the party, please visit our Wine Club website.


March 12 — Oakland, CA — Ordinaire

Join Tracey & Jared at Ordinaire from 5p – 9p as we debut our new Spring Wines!
Ordinaire, 3354 Grand Ave, Oakland, (510) 629-3944
No RSVP required – just stop by!


Donkey & Goat Holiday Party

Sunday December 14, 2-6pm

Taste the new wines (see list below) and older vintages as we finish celebrating our 10th year of making wine.  Holiday special offers, small bites, plenty of cheer and perhaps a few other surprises.  RSVP if you plan to join us. Cheers!

New Releases:

  • 2013 Pinot Noir, Broken Leg Vineyard, Anderson Valley
  • 2013 Five Thirteen, Red Wine Blend, El Dorado
  • 2012  Syrah, Fenaughty Vineyard, El Dorado
  • 2012 Syrah, Perli Vineyards, Mendocino Ridge


Wednesday, December 3

Join us and our dear friends, Tracey and Jared of Donkey & Goat Winery, for a tasting of their fall releases paired with three courses from Chef Jake.  Featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times, Donkey & Goat craft incredibly delicious and distinct wines, driven by their real sense of purpose.  Check out their Manifesto for more.

Three courses for $36 and $18 for three wines.  Stay tuned for the menu.  The tasting runs all night, so you can reserve via OpenTable.

With the holiday season approaching,  our event calendar is filling up.  If you are interested in having your holiday event here,  just email us at for more information.

Fermentation Room Space

Fermentation Room Space


Donkey and Goat “Broken Leg Vineyard” Syrah “The Recluse” (Anderson Valley)
Donkey and Goat is the brainchild of Tracey and Jared Brandt, who spent a year working with red Rhône maven Eric Texier in 2002, before moving to Berkeley and getting started with their own winery. Their facilities are in Berkeley, and they source fruit primarily in cooler vineyard sites in Mendocino and El Dorado counties. The couple seeks to make wines as naturally as possible, using indigenous yeasts and eschewing extraction enzymes and new oak. 2004 was their first vintage of Donkey and Goat. The 2011 bottling of “The Recluse”, from this
cool Anderson Valley vineyard came in at 13.1 percent alcohol and includes three percent viognier, with the wine including sixty percent whole clusters and being raised in a range of one to three year-old barrels. The wine is superb, jumping from the glass in a vibrant blend of cassis, black raspberries, woodsmoke, venison, black pepper, some medicinal syrah overtones, a bit of mustard seed and a lovely signature of soil. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and wide open in personality, with a great core of fruit, suave tannins and a very long, focused and complex finish. As the Brandts also practice a low SO2 regimen for their wines, the projected window of drinkability is conjectural, as this is the first vintage I have had the pleasure to taste their wines and do not have any experience with how their low sulfur wines will evolve with extended bottle age. Excellent wine. 2014-2025+?

2011 Donkey and Goat “Fenaughty Vineyard” Syrah (El Dorado)
Tracey and Jared Brandt also purchase fruit from the Fenaughty Vineyard in El Dorado, that I first became familiar with from tasting some of Steve Edmunds superb syrahs from this source. Their 2011 Fenaughty syrah is a bit cooler in profile than “The Recluse” coming in at 12.2 percent and offering up a more structured wine out of the blocks, but with even more potential for down the road. The excellent and youthful bouquet is a blend of black raspberries, cassis, grilled venison, espresso, stony soil tones, black pepper, woodsmoke and medicinal syrah
aromas. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and sappy at the core, with a tightlyknit personality, superb focus and grip, moderate tannins and excellent length and grip on the still quite primary finish. Give this excellent bottle of syrah a couple of years in the cellar to blossom. 2016-2025+?


July August 2014, Issue 52
John Gilman

In 2006 we made nearly 16 tons TOTAL across 7 lots.  In 2014, we tackle that in one day!  Thank you for hanging in Angie Chang!  Look at that smile and those biceps!  Happy and hard working, you are welcome anytime.

Angie Chang (@changie24) pitching Fenaughty Vineyard Grenache Blanc.  Check out those biceps!

Angie Chang (@changie24) pitching Fenaughty Vineyard Grenache Blanc. Check out those biceps!

Beautiful Pinot Gris clusters.

Beautiful Pinot Gris clusters.

Pinot Gris soaking on the skins. So excited!

Pinot Gris soaking on the skins. So excited!

Angie Chang (@changie24) digging out a vat of Fenaughty Vineyard Cinsault

Angie Chang (@changie24) digging out a vat of Fenaughty Vineyard Cinsault