Donkey & Goat

Berkeley's first natural winery, crafting wines
from sustainably farmed vineyards since 2004.

The highest praise

This weekend we received the highest of praise. Eric Texier, our teacher and mentor is in the midst of a U.S. sales trip with his importer, Joe Dressner and he and his wife Laurence are staying with us while in the Bay Area. We saw them for the first time since 2003 on Saturday and of course, Eric wanted to taste our wines. We were 2 parts excited and 1 part anxious. I mean it is one thing if the critics don’t “get” our wines but if Eric thinks their crap we might as well throw in the towel now.

We (of course) started with the reds in the usual order – Vidmar, Vieilles Vignes and Carson. Then tasted the 2005 Grenache Rose and finally the Chardonnay. Eric commended their individuality and even better, the (unusual for CA/US) reductive aromas. And I have to say that as the evening wore on the Vieilles Vignes evolved into a truly lovely Syrah. But the best part came when he tasted the Chardonnay. If you read our blog often you know that we struggle with the Chardonnay b/c we are making Chardonnay from a very high quality (and expensive) vineyard and we are throwing caution and business sense to the wind and making a Chardonnay that we want to drink. It is definitely not for everyone and while we’ve begun to find a loyal following we have also heard our fair share of criticism. Eric didn’t even need to speak – his face said it all. But he did. I don’t want to brag (okay, I do) but I’ll sum it up with the fact that he took our Chard tonight to dinner with the other 15 or so French winemakers b/c he says they’ve had such a disappointing time tasting American Chard. And he suggested we sell the wine in Paris b/c he thinks it would be a raving success. Imagine, A Donkey and Goat in Paris!


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