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Organic Winemaking Pioneer Passes Away

By July 23, 2023Top News, VIPs

Organic and biodynamic Sonoma County, California, wine pioneer Paul Egan Dolan III passed away peacefully at his home on June 26 from cancer. Born on July 16, 1950, he was the son of Yvonne Rossi and Paul Dolan II and, as a child, he spent every summer in Sonoma County at his family’s Asti Villa. After earning his master’s in enology at California State University, Fresno, in 1977, he began his career as a winemaker for Fetzer Vineyards, continuing the legacy as a fourth-generation winemaker, later becoming CEO when the family winery was purchased by Brown-Forman in 1992. In 1998, Paul and his sons, Jason and Heath, founded Dolan & Sons and acquired what is now known as Dark Horse Vineyards. They revitalized and replanted the entire 63-acre vineyard, transforming it into a thriving biodynamic property. He pioneered Bonterra Wines as the first national brand made from 100% organically grown grapes and established the Mendocino Cooperage in 1994, among the many wines and projects he had a hand in.


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