Gibbons Lane Winery Story

 In 1997, Carolyn Lakewold and her husband, Fred, planted a small experimental vineyard on a picturesque property adjacent to the Deschutes River on Gibbons Lane SE near Tenino, Washington. The following year construction on their small, well-appointed and charming winery began on the property next to their vineyard. The first crush for Donedei wines was in 1998 with the first commercial release being the Donedei 1999 Merlot – the next year a Cabernet Sauvignon was also produced. The grapes for both wines came predominantly from Red Mountain vineyard sources – these first releases were met with critical acclaim with the winery quickly garnering a cult following.

 

Today, the grapes from all of the Donedei wines come from the Ciel du Cheval Vineyard (Red Mountain Appellation) and Elephant Mountain Vineyard (Yakima Valley Appellation). All grapes are hand-picked, sorted and gently crushed – we are a 100% free run winery which means we do not press (very unusual) to enhance concentration and color intensity. Wines are fermented in small lots using proprietary yeasts. These practices yield wines that are concentrated, rich and assertive. In addition, our wines are un-filtered and un-fined so we recommend decanting a bottle before enjoying – by the way, you don’t need a “fancy” decanter. Our team takes great pride in what we do and we hope it shows in every glass.

 

Donedei takes its name from a farmhouse in southern France, near Cannes, that has been part of Carolyn and Fred’s life for over 15 years – Donedei, translated from its French origins, means “Gift of God”.

Carolyn Lakewold

A passion for great food and wine, as well as extensive vineyard and winery experiences in France, Italy and Washington State, were instrumental in propelling former college English professor and NCAA Champion fast-pitch coach, Carolyn Lakewold, into the world of winemaking. Leaving her academic and coaching positions behind her, beginning in 1996 Carolyn apprenticed with Doug McCrea of McCrea Cellars for two years before moving on to work with Bob Andrake of Andrake Cellars. Applying the knowledge and skills learned from those experiences as well as those in Europe, Carolyn began the crafting of her own wines under the new Donedei label.

Carolyn and Fred spend time away from the winery traveling around the world indulging their passion for fly fishing, searching for that perfect river, meal and glass of wine.

“My goal is to make the best wine in Washington. A lofty goal, yes, but we will continue to strive to do just that.”