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Donedei Wines

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Donedei Wines

Donedei Wines
Being the Best

by Christina Kelly

Donedei Cabernet Sauvignon

"I make a Cab and a Merlot, and I don't plan on making anything else," Lakewold said. "I want to make the best Cab and the best Merlot in the state, and hopefully that will happen."

One of her earliest influences in winemaking was Doug McCrea of McCrea Cellars, who crafts some of the finest Syrah in the Northwest not far from Olympia in Rainier, Wash. Another whom Lakewold learned from is Bob Andrake of Andrake Cellars in Olympia. His Cabernet Sauvignon ranks as one of the most muscular and opulent in the state.

"I think how I run my winery is similar to McCrea's, but my winemaking style is more like that of Andrake," Lakewold said. "He and I work with free-run juice, and there are very few of us who do that."

Her first commercial release, a mere 110 cases of Merlot, came in 1999. She introduced her Cabernet in 2000. Her Cab and Merlot from the 2000 vintage received Wine Press Northwest's highest rating, "Outstanding." In their peer group of Northwest Merlots in Winter 2002, the 2000 received an "Excellent" rating out of 123, tied for 38th.

In early 2006, the 2002 vintage was released, about 700 cases total.

"My goal is to stay under 1,000 cases," Lakewold said. "I'm the only one who works at the winery. If I got any bigger, I'd have to have somebody helping me, and I don't want that. I look at these barrels as my children, and I know what's happening in each one."



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