My approach is "minimalist": No unnecessary processes, treatments or commercial yeast inoculations. Levels of sulfur dioxide are kept to a minimum by extending the "sur lie" period, during which the wine is protected naturally. I do not fine or "cold-stabilize" any of my wines, or filter any reds. Stabilization and clarification occur by natural sedimentation.
Gentler is better
White grapes are gently pressed, settle overnight and are racked to barrels the following day. After a few days, the juice will begin to ferment due to the yeast transferred from the vineyard. The natural (not genetically modified) yeast and bacteria will ferment slowly and “create” a richness associated with indigenous fermentations. The wine will remain on lees until bottling. Red grapes are de-stemmed and gently crushed into open-top oak fermenters. During fermentation we manually punch down the cap up to 3 times a day. Gentle pressing and transfer methods are employed to move wine into barrels, where they age on their lees often until the day of bottling.
Instinct and Intuition
Mastering the techniques and technicalities of winemaking allows the freedom to make wine by instinct. Never following a recipe and “allowing” the wines to make themselves (most of the time), L Donovan wines are extremely balanced and highly distinctive expressions of their micro-climate, soil, and varietal components and the vintage. L Donovan Wines are truly authentic.
“Every wine Linda touches is a true representation of the variety. She doesn’t let anything get in the way of what the grape has to say.”
RESTAURANT WINE DIRECTOR