To the ordinary wine drinker, a glass of red pairs most naturally with a fine cheese. At the Donum Estate in Sonoma County, however, the preference is less obvious partners for their distinguished wines. These include a 9-foot stainless steel rhino (Captured Rhino, Li Hui, 2012). Or even a massive heart sculpture made of polished mirrored steel (Love Me, Richard Hudson, 2016). With an outdoor sculpture garden boasting of nearly 40 large-scale works, the craftsmanship at this renowned California estate is not at all confined to the bottle.
Since 2001, wine lovers have savored the carefully crafted pinot noir from the Donum Estate in Sonoma County. The wine is born from founder, president and wine grower Anne Moller-Racke’s “ultimate pinot noir project.” Moller-Racke bases her wines on a Burgundian grand cru model, consistently winning awards for taste and quality. She is celebrated in Forbes, Sunset, Wine Spectator, Haute Living and The Huffington Post. And basically any publication in California where a writer had a pen and a bottle opener.
But as world-class outdoor sculptures dot the nearly 200-acre vineyard, it’s not just the fine wines drawing people in. For Moller-Racke, the pairing of art, a beautiful landscape and a glass of great wine is a natural union. It creates “a very powerful experience,” as she told Forbes. “It is much more powerful than the three enjoyed separately.”
Wine, Art and Nature
This triad of wine, art and nature carries through to the vineyard’s luxe tasting room. Known as the Donum Home it was finished in 2017. With five skylights and a wall of windows, the room is flooded with natural light. Perfect for housing a painting by Chinese artist Liu Xiaodong along the back wall. State of the Art Taste.
Featuring internationally famed works from Zhan Wang’s Artificial Rock, to Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads and Yue Minjun’s Terracotta Warriors, the sculpture garden functions as a mouthpiece for global cultural connection, according to majority owner Allan Warburg. As a European who has lived half of his life in Asia, Warburg told Forbes that he loves and embraces diversity of different cultures, and “hope[s] the collection will express this.”
Previously, the Donum’s sculpture garden was only accessible to the public by way of advanced tasting reservations at $80 a head. But in an effort to expand the collection’s accessibility, the Donum now offers weekly tours for art and wine enthusiasts. The art, in Moller-Racke’s words, is a “seamless addition” to the property. “What underlies both art and wine is passion. Both of them stimulate the senses and enhance your perceptions of this special place.”
To reserve an experience at the Donum Estate, visit thedonumestate.com.