Weingut Donatsch – Interview With Martin Donatsch

3rd July 2024

Weingut Donatsch Interview With Martin Donatsch

Exploring the Sparkling Wine world will take you to every corner of the globe, there is so much to explore and taste, it would take several lifetimes to experience everything, but it it our mission here at Glass of Bubbly to highlight every country, region and bubbly producer, along with the incredible people making it all possible.

In this exclusive feature on Glass of Bubbly we travel to Switzerland, visiting Weingut Donatsch to speak with Martin Donatsch, the Owner and Winemaker at Weingut Donatsch, let’s discover a little about his life, his journey in the industry and one of his most memorable Bubbly memories.

It’s Great To Speak With You, Matin, Can You Tell Us A Little About Yourself & How Your Incredible Journey Into The Wine Industry Began?

“Born as the son of the legendary Swiss winemaker Thomas Donatsch, I was practically born into my profession. With the same passion as my father, but also many visions for the future of our wines, I am now the fifth generation to run the family business. For me, being a winemaker is not a profession, but a vocation!”

Do You Remember Your First Experience With Sparkling Wine? When It Was And What Kind Of Label It Was?

“My very first memory of sparkling wine was when my dad tried making the first sparkling wine in our region. He proudly opened a bottle on the balcony with the yeast already twisted into the neck of the bottle. I still remember how he popped the crown cap and how it popped and foamed out of the bottle. As a little boy, I was totally impressed and thought, now my dad can do magic with wine too.”

How Rewarding And Challenging Is Managing Your Own Winery?

“I am very lucky that we live in a fantastic region. Some of the best Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in the world are produced here. It is so small that it is totally unknown internationally. People know about Swiss chocolate, watches, cheese and banks. But many people don’t even know that there is wine in Switzerland. Our sales are guaranteed before we bottle the wines. We live for wine at an absolutely high level and are still far removed from the hype… even though the wines are becoming more and more well-known – also internationally. I not only have the most beautiful job in the world, but also the best winery you can have. I wouldn’t trade places with any other winery, no matter how famous.”

If You Could Choose A Person In The World, Past Or Present, To Have A Glass of Bubbly With; Who Would It Be And Why? What Would You Drink And Why? What Would You Discuss And Why?

“That would definitely be André Noblet. The late former cellar master of the legendary Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. My dad was a close friend of André Noblet and learned a lot from him. My dad taught me a lot about this man. The first time I visited the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti was when I was still in my mother’s womb. She was pregnant with me. I was even baptized Martin André because of Noblet. I have his name as a middle name. I learned so much from this man about my dad that I would have loved to have met him in person. He was probably the best winemaker the world has ever seen. Of course, I would talk to him about the vinification of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir… so what we would drink with it wouldn’t even be that important… but of course a sparkling wine made from the two grape varieties Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. A great Champagne like Krug, for example.”

Can You Share With Us Some Of The Countries And Locations Around The World That You Can Enjoy A Glass Of Domaine Donatsch?

“We are one of the few Swiss wineries to export a small quantity of our bottles. We export them all over the world… specifically to retailers who sell to the top gastronomy. So you can find our wines in many great restaurants. Always as a rarity. From Hong Kong to Singapore, to New York and LA and all over Europe. My father was incredibly proud that even the great wine nation of France imports our wines.”

What Future Plans Can Enthusiasts Of Domaine Donatsch Look Forward To In The Coming Years?

“We are not trying to grow, only to improve. I think that our region has huge potential and that our wines will become much better known and sought after internationally. It would be tempting to produce more if you are always sold out and the wines are so sought after. But that will never be my goal. I want to be at the top in terms of quality, not quantity. Like my father, I would also like to exchange more with Burgundy and learn a lot about our grape varieties there. True to the motto: learn from the best. In addition to the Burgundy varieties, my focus is also on our autochthonous grape variety Completer, which my father and I have awakened from its slumber over the last few decades and are growing more of.”

Can You Share With Us One Of The Most Memorable Experiences You’ve Enjoyed With A Glass of Bubbly?

“One of my most memorable experiences was just recently on an incredible weekend in Los Angeles, shortly after my dad passed away. We had a tasting of the 1964 vintage, including the best wines of France, Haut Brion, La Mission, Pétrus, Latour, Lafleur, Hermitage from Chave and Chapoutier, Burgundies like Musigny and Richebourg from Leroy, La Tâche and Romanée Conti, just to name a few. All vintage 1964, totally crazy and unforgettable. This tasting started with a Dom Pérignon 1964 from a perfect magnum bottle. It was an exceptional Champagne experience that will be remembered for a lifetime.”

Thank you Martin, for sharing your story and experiences with us and we at Glass of Bubbly wish you the very best for the future!

Images belong to Weingut Donatsch. Glass of Bubbly was granted permission to use them.

Oliver Walkey

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.