Monday, 30 January 2012

Mendocino Wine Co. Loses Paul Dolan

Formed by April 2004 to purchase the Parducci Wine Cellars, Mendocino County’s oldest winery, the Mendocino Wine Co. now comprises SketchBook Wines, “Wines That Rock”, “ZigZagZin”, Parducci and the Paul Dolan vineyards. Originally founded as a partnership between three men: Paul Dolan, Tom Thornhill and Tim Thornhill; reports emerging from California’s North Coast last week suggest that Paul Dolan has now left the Mendocino Wine Co.

A high profile winemaker in California, Paul Dolan is a fourth generation winemaker and a pioneer when it comes to organic and biodynamic winemaking. Having published “True to our Roots, Fermenting a Business Revolution” in 2003, that detailed how he transformed the attitude of the Fetzer winery towards the environment in which it operated, Paul moved to the Mendocino Wine Co in 2004 and began to practise his favoured biodynamic practises with Parducci. Critical acclaim followed and Parducci is now one of the highest regarded winemakers in Mendocino.

However, reports in The Press Democrat suggest that Paul Dolan has now fallen out with Mendocino Wine Co. business partners Tom and Tim Thornhill and that he has been removed from company. Despite prominent images of Tom and Tim appearing on the Mendocino Wine Co website, Paul’s image no longer appears alongside them. (Although a link to the Paul Dolan Vineyards site does remain). The Press Democrat suggests that sheriff’s deputies were called to a dispute between the Mendocino Wine Co. partners, although notes that the deputies left once it was decided that the dispute was a civil rather than a criminal matter.

The future direction and ownership of the various parts of the Mendocino Wine Co. holdings remains unclear at this time, with all involved in the reported dispute unavailable or declining to comment.