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A True Leader

The Donatsch family has owned the «Ochsen» in Malans for over 100 years – five Donatsch generations of wine connoisseurs. The family-owned business philosophy is to produce true wines of outstanding quality, typical of their location.

The Donatsch family runs a wine-growing estate in the Bündner Herrschaft (Grisons) – one of the leading Swiss wine regions – the wines of which belong to the best in Switzerland.

Thomas Donatsch, who is recognised as a pioneer of Swiss wines, started to raise the quality of his wines to an international standard early in his life. Inspired by Burgundy, he had already planted Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc in 1975, which, from a legal point of view, was not allowed at that time. In Switzerland he was the first to press a sparkling wine according to the Champagne method. Further, when it comes to pressing methods, Thomas was the first in Switzerland to experiment with French barrels.

In 1973 the late André Noblet, a fellow winemaker from the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti gave his friend, Thomas, three used «LaTâche» barrels, in which the first Pinot Noir «Passion» was cultivated according to the classical Burgundy method. To achieve all of these innovations it took courage, as well as oenological skills and the helpful exchange of information with other wine-making friends all over the world.

During his vocational training as a vintner and winemaker with several wine-growing estates in Australia, South Africa, Bordeaux and Spain, Thomas’s eldest son Martin acquired many new ideas. After he returned home to Malans, he successfully integrated this in-depth knowledge with tried and tested methods. Martin is convinced that the Bündner Herrschaft is amongst the best Pinot regions in the world and is sure that its potential is by no means exhausted.