The Donum Estate Ushers in a New Era of US-Grown European Truffles Partnering with the American Truffle Company®
Périgord black truffle orchard will be planted at the Sonoma Winery Estate, representing the largest such orchard to be cultivated in the region.
SONOMA, CA. (December 5, 2023) – The Donum Estate, a leader in single-vineyard, single-appellation Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and the American Truffle Company® (ATC), the leader in truffle science and cultivation in North America, announced a new partnership to cultivate Périgord black truffles at The Donum Estate in Sonoma, California. At the intersection of fine wine, sustainable farming and world-class art, Donum provides a captivating backdrop and excellent location for a truffle orchard – perfect for establishing the rare truffle species, available almost exclusively in Europe, to a new home within the Carneros Estate Vineyard.
Situated across five acres on the east side of the Estate, known as the West Slope Block, Donum and ATC will plant truffle-inoculated filbert (hazelnut) and oak trees in the spring of 2024. These trees are expected to yield the first harvest of the highly sought-after Périgord black truffles in five to seven years’ time. As ATC has achieved success in harvesting European black truffles in Northern California, the partnership with Donum marks further expansion of the US-grown European truffle initiative, utilizing ATC’s comprehensive truffle science to produce these prized tubers at Donum.
Much like growing grapes, cultivating truffles requires extensive knowledge and technology, which ATC will provide while collaborating with The Donum Estate’s VP of Winemaking & Vineyards, Winemaker, Dan Fishman. Furthermore, ATC will assist Donum with every detail of truffle cultivation and distribution, from site selection and preparation, to supplying the highest quality truffle trees and methodology for ongoing orchard management, to ultimately distributing the harvested truffles to local and national Michelin-star and master chefs. Chefs will be thrilled to have unprecedented access to ultra-fresh Périgord black truffles. In tune with Donum’s dedication to employing sustainability and regenerative organic farming practices, the prospective truffle orchard will undergo organic certification next year.
Donum CEO, Angelica de Vere Mabray, shares her excitement about the collaboration: “Our partnership with the American Truffle Company represents a shared pursuit of excellence, an unwavering commitment to deliver exceptional quality, and a dedication to ongoing innovation. Beyond the obvious alignment of highly acclaimed wine and truffles in fine dining experiences, the addition of a truffle orchard also aligns with our commitment to regenerative farming practices and further expanding biodiversity at the Estate. This is critical to creating an environment in which life can thrive, directly benefiting our vineyards and wines.”
Périgord black truffles are among the most expensive foods in the world, with soaring demand continuing to far exceed supply and routinely commanding over $1,000 per pound. ATC has been producing this culinary treasure (aka Black Diamond) in areas outside of its native European habitat, including Northern California where the wine growing regions offer particularly suitable climates and soil. Through its partnership, Donum brings the opportunity to expand truffle cultivation and help meet the demand.
“We are delighted and honored to partner with The Donum Estate,” says Robert Chang, ATC’s Chief Truffle Officer. “And we’re confident that our extensive scientific expertise will help them achieve their vision of producing European black truffles here in the U.S., in the same way that the winery’s focus on quality and sustainability have put them in the forefront of wine production globally. We look forward to forging and deepening our alliance for decades to come.”
The partnership will kick off at the annual Napa Truffle Festival in January 2024, where Donum will host a sold-out, immersive truffle and wine experience set in the Estate’s state-of-the-art winemaking facility, complete with a truffle dog demonstration in the Estate’s organic olive orchard. The Winery Truffle Lunch will feature Michelin-star Chef Kelly McCowen, paired with Donum’s finest wines. Donum’s CEO, Angelica de Vere Mabray, and VP of Winemaking & Vineyards and Winemaker, Dan Fishman, will co-host the event, with Robert Chang and ATC’s Chief Scientist Dr. Paul Thomas present to set the stage for years of collaboration to come.
Founded in 2001, Donum’s terroir-driven wines reflect the energy and complexity of some of the most celebrated regions in Northern California including the Russian River Valley, Carneros, Anderson Valley and Sonoma Coast. Donum achieved the highest level of organic certification as one of the first wineries in Sonoma County to achieve Regenerative Organic Certified® status for all of its Estate vineyards. Donum is also California Certified Organic Farming Association (CCOF) certified—Donum, in fact, is Latin for gift—and using biodynamic and regenerative organic farming practices creates environments in which its vines can thrive and produce the highest-quality fruit as possible. Located in the acclaimed wine region Carneros nestled between Napa and Sonoma Counties, the Donum Estate includes a state-of-the-art winemaking facility, contemporary hospitality experience, an organic farm, and one of the largest accessible private sculpture collections in the world. At the intersection of fine wine, sustainable farming and world-class art, Donum connects a global community and creates holistic sensory wine experiences that have made it an international destination.
For more information and to inquire about a private tasting experience reservation, please visit www.thedonumestate.com. Follow @DonumEstate on Instagram and Facebook and join the conversation using #TheDonumEstate.
About American Truffle Company®
ATC is the leader in truffle science, cultivation and distribution in North America, and is unique in forming long-term partnerships with client-partner growers to ensure their ultimate shared success. Founded by Robert Chang and Prof. Paul Thomas in 2007, ATC works closely with client-partner growers across North America, applying extensive scientific expertise they developed, derived from unique large-scale data from truffle orchards established in 25 countries across four continents. ATC distributes truffles produced by its client-partner growers to its extensive network of Michelin-star and master chefs, as well as to consumer home chefs. ATC also created and presents the annual Napa Truffle Festival, North America’s premier truffle event. The 12th annual Napa Truffle Festival will take place January 12-15, 2024.