Our Family

Santa Rosa Boutique Winery

We are a small, boutique Sonoma winery producing Syrah, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Roussanne and Viognier. We have elected to prize quality over all other factors. Simply put, we think wine should taste great — with every vintage and every grape, this is our ultimate priority and our greatest motivation.

We believe that the best wines are not made but discovered. We take pride in harnessing the greatest qualities and natural variations in a vineyard and a variety. We make wine with patience, embracing the mystery of what nature gives us.

You should be passionate about what you do. That’s why our wines are all about the celebration of life.

Joe Donelan


Joe began his journey of wine discovery in the 1980s, led by an inspired sommelier at Toppers Restaurant on Nantucket. His love of wine soon led him on a journey to California, where he established a wine business that is now called Donelan Family Wines.

For Joe, exceptional wines gives all of us a personal connection to the land, to nature and the people who make it. He personally calls all new customers and hand-writes thank you notes for each order, whether it’s a single bottle or ten cases. Read Joe’s full bio.

Joe Donelan

Wine should be fun and about exploration, shared with family and friends. Surround yourself with good wines and good people.

Tripp Donelan

Director of Sales

As Donelan‘s director of sales, Tripp is focused on educating novices and oenophiles alike on his family’s commitment to producing the best wines Sonoma County has to offer. Echoing his family’s dedication to exceptional customer service, Tripp ensures each bottle of wine is delivered with the same level of care that went into its production.

Exposure early in his childhood to some of the world’s finest wines helped cultivate a growing interest in epicurean affairs, that today Tripp still fosters through scallop diving, fishing and his work at the winery. Read Tripp’s full bio.

Tripp Donelan

It’s all about attention to detail. That’s the only way to be consistent vintage after vintage.

Cushing Donelan

Director of Marketing

Cushing brings his diverse experience in brand development and entertainment production to Donelan Family Wines. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Cushing saw the opportunity to enhance the brand’s evolution and create new partnerships, and was eager to dig his hands into the family business.

Truly a man of many interests, Cushing studied art history and studio art in college, served as Executive Assistant to actor Matthew McConaughey and his company (j.k. livin productions), and continues to be an Executive Producer with oneinarow productions. Read Cushing’s full bio.


What’s different about us is our willingness to be patient in the vineyard and cellar. You can’t rush great wine.

Joe Nielsen

Consulting Winemaker

Joe got his start in winemaking not in the California fields but in the backyard of his parent’s Michigan home. A young entrant into college, Joe was studying pre-med at Michigan State when a friend suggested he consider a future in winemaking. After poring over English-translated books on French viticulture, the 18-year-old cleared an acre of his parent’s backyard and set to work planting his own vineyard.

Joe’s career started at a Michigan winery, but eventually lead him to Napa Valley and then Donelan Wines where he honed his craft. Today, Joe oversees every aspect of the winemaking process. Read Joe’s full bio.

Joe Nielsen