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Category: Press


David Lynch (St. Vincent) wrote a great little piece on natural wine for Bon Appétit and includes our Grenache Blanc (new vintage available in June!).

Donkey & Goat: 2011 El Dorado Grenache Blanc
All the “naturalness” you can handle: foot-trodden grapes, wild yeast, low sulfur. A fleshy but mineral white and only 12.6 percent alcohol. $27;

…The fundamental principle of natural winemaking is: Do as little as possible to the wine. Eliminate chemicals from vineyards. When you harvest grapes, let fermentation begin spontaneously, using the ambient yeasts on the skins (industrial-leaning vintners peruse catalogs of yeast strains to custom engineer flavor profiles). Pick the fruit at a reasonable level of potential alcohol. And go easy on the oak–not that aging in oak barrels isn’t natural, but rather that a heavy oak influence is an adornment that goes against the minimal-intervention grain….

David Lynch, May 2013
Bon Appétit

Read More…/natural-wines-made-america-lynch-david.htm


A nice write up in Seattle Weekly about our skin fermented wines.

Wine obsessives will tell you that the orange wine craze has come and gone, but a pair of skin-contact whites offered by Donkey and Goat Winery in Berkeley, Calif. suggest the practice shouldn’t be consigned to the scrapbook just yet.


Hanna Raskin, Apr 19, 2013
Seattle Weekly


Read the full story here: Orange Wines Haven’t Dried Up Yet


A nice mention in Washington Post’s  WIne Blog

Snapshots of each region give shout-outs to trailblazer winemakers, “steady hands” who produce consistently good wines, and superstars who are setting ever-higher standards. We meet the usual luminaries, such as Robert Mondavi and Paul Draper, but also young trendsetters such as Jared and Tracey Brandt of Donkey and Goat winery, or rock musician-turned-vintner Maynard James Keenan of Arizona Stronghold Vineyards.

America Wine, a story of great growth
Dave McIntyre, February 12, 2013
Washington Post

Signature drink: Lynch’s goal is to have 100 wines for $100 or less; his tastes are omnivorous and nuanced. By the glass, you might try the 2010 Monteraponi Chianti Classico ($12) or root for the home team with the 2011 Donkey & Goat Grenache Blanc ($13)

St. Vincent Gastropub, S.F.
Jon Bonné, December 19, 2012
SF Gate

Donkey & Goat’s 2011 “Stone Crusher” is the rare Roussanne let off the leash. The wine attacks with a rush of acidity but pulls back with a chewy, nectariney finish. How do winemakers Tracey and Jared Brandt do it? First, they pick ten days earlier than their neighbors. Then they let the crushed grapes ferment in neutral oak, on their skins, for more than two weeks (most whites receive zero skin time). The skin soak makes the magic, revealing Roussanne’s electrifying side. Food pairing: L&E Oyster Bar’s oysters casino.Available at: Buzz Wine Beer Shop, 460 S. Spring St., downtown; $32.

Lou Amdur,  December 19, 2012
LA Magazine


International Wine Cellar has completed their reviews of our current offerings (as well as our spring and summer release.)  You can read the full reviews from the spring and fall via PDF at: Tanzer Scores May/June 2012  and  Tanzer November 2012.


2011 Sluice Box White Wine El Dorado($27) (made from a blend of 50% marsanne, 34% grenache blanc, 14% vermentino and 2% picoul):  Hazy yellow-gold.  Pear skin, lemon thyme and chamomile on the intriguingly perfumed nose.  Fleshy and expansive, offering gently sweet orchard and pit fruit flavors with a refreshing note of bitter lemon pith.  The sappy finish shows good bite and a lingering floral note. 90

2011 Chardonnay Improbable El Dorado($24) Hazy yellow.  Musky aromas of pear skin, orange pith and ginger, with a suggestion of chamomile in the background.  Sappy, dense and dry, with bright minerality adding energy to bitter melon and orchard fruit flavors.  A sweeter note of honey comes up with air and carries through the sappy, persistent, mineral-laced finish.  90

2011 Chardonnay Untended Anderson Valley($32) (12.1% alcohol):  Light, hazy yellow.  Complex, highly perfumed bouquet of candied citrus fruits, pear skin, anise and smoky minerals.  Sappy and precise, offering intense citrus and orchard fruit flavors with suggestions of honeysuckle, tarragon and salted almonds.  Closes tangy and very long, with resonating lemon pith and floral nuances and strong, spicy snap.91

2011 Grenache Blanc El Dorado($27) (12.6% alcohol):  Pale gold.  Bright aromas and flavors of honeydew, nectarine and orange, complicated by subtle floral and herbal nuances.  Juicy and precise on the palate, then firm on the finish, offering good cut to the lingering melon and honeysuckle notes.  This wine has the flavor impact to work with full-flavored foods but there’s a litheness to it that will suit lighter dishes, even shellfish. 90

2011 Roussanne Stone Crusher El Dorado($30) Hazy, copper-tinged yellow.  An exotically perfumed bouquet evokes orange pith, poached pear, honey and candied ginger, plus a hint of hazelnut.  Fleshy and smooth, offering lively orchard fruit and honey flavors underscored by juicy acidity.  Finishes with very good energy and lift, leaving herb and spice notes behind.  This distinctly wild wine will work with rich as well as lighter foods.     91

2011 Pinot Noir Helluva Anderson Valley($28) Light, bright red.  High-pitched aromas and flavors of red berries, bitter cherry and potpourri, with a sexy incense nuance building in the glass.  Juicy and precise, with excellent finishing cut and lingering spiciness.  I suspect that this tightly focused, youthful wine will age well on its balance.  91

2011 Carignane Mendocino($25) Vivid ruby.  Vibrant, primary red berry, herbal and floral aromas are complicated by white pepper and anise.  The palate shows a refreshingly bitter quality and excellent focus, with tangy redcurrant and bitter cherry flavors dominating.  Finishes on a palate-numbing peppery note, with very good clarity and cut.  There’s a Beaujolais-like character to this wine that’s really intriguing. 90

2011 Grenache Noir El Dorado($27) Vivid red.  Aromas of red berries, minerals and potpourri, with a sexy Asian spice quality building with air.  The palate shows good verve and clarity to the raspberry and bitter cherry flavors.   A bright mineral note adds cut to the long, juicy, floral finish.  This lively wine reminded me a lot of a top-notch Beaujolais. 90

2010 Syrah The Recluse Broken Leg Vineyard Anderson Valley($40) (includes 3% co-fermented viognier; 12.6% alcohol):  Deep ruby.  Powerful, spice-accented aromas of candied dark berries, licorice and smoky Indian spices, with a sexy lavender nuance building with air.  Juicy, penetrating and sweet, offering intense blackberry and mulberry flavors and a suggestion of candied flowers.  Closes on a sweet note, with excellent length, leaving dark fruit and peppery spice notes behind.  This wine was made with 35% whole clusters. 92

Josh  Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, November 2012

(Grenache Blanc) I love the Technicolor fruit flavors of this wine (think stone fruit). I love the crunchy mouthfeel of the wine and the way it coats my mouth and interacts with the textures of food. And I love the low alcohol: At just 12.6 percent, the wine is going to work well for memaw and for me.

Jeremy Parzen, HoustonPress, Nov. 14 2012


Thanksgiving can weigh you down. The rich meal topped with heavy red wine can overwhelm. One answer: go for high-acid, lighter bodied reds like Beaujolais and Pinot Noir, and pour white wine like Chenin Blanc and Riesling. But what about mixing it up a bit, and pouring something unexpected? Even the richest rosé will offer freshness and light to cut through the heavy meal….

The freshness of Tracey and Jared Brandt’s 2011 Donkey and Goat Grenache Rosé makes it an easy favorite any time of year. Named after their daughter, Isabel’s Cuvée smells just like ripe strawberries, and that berry flavor is too delicious to stop drinking. This wine, picked from 90+ year old Grenache Gris vines in the McDowell Valley vineyard in Mendocino, has a lovely creamy texture and fresh acidity (that doesn’t veer into astringency, which happens all too often with rosé.) Behind the berries, it tastes of crisp Asian pear with a squeeze of lemon. This is a party-friendly wine that’s ready for food. It sells for around $20.

Maggie Hoffman, Serious Eats , November 15, 2012…

The Fenaughty Vineyard is one of our favorite spots.   It is great to see the Syrah in print.

It opens with a classic syrah nose evocative of dark fruits and various savory elements, notably black pepper. On the palate, it shows cool, ripe fruit, a pleasantly chewy texture, and more black pepper. The wine has excellent balance and depth, displays a nice thwack of minerality, and exudes freshness and vigor. It is a terrific syrah in the Northern Rhone style (savory, elegant) and will surely make you a fan of this grape if you are not one already. []

Read more:

2011 Donkey & Goat Sluice Box El Dorado White ($27, 13%): The Brandts continue their simple-is-beautiful Rhone-inspired stampede from Berkeley. This might be their best white yet – a mix of Grenache Blanc and Vermentino (fermented on their skins for extra texture), Marsanne and a bit of Picpoul. It’s unctuous in a delicious way, like great peach nectar. With lemon curd, almond and green tea bite, and a mineral savoriness. Versatile (pork chops, fish, all sorts of things) and deeply flavored.

Read more:Rhone-style whites as the holidays near
Jon Bonné, San Francisco Chronicle, November 4, 2012

In case you have ever wondered where the name came from, here is a Sluice Box

The Coast magazine, February 1902, Volume III, p. 19