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Josefina Venturino & Alex Craighead

Don Wines, New Zealand

Don Wines is named after Josefina’s grandfather Don Ramon Dus and is a homage to his simplicity, honesty and generosity, capturing and drawing his essence and philosophy into their wines. Alex Craighead was born in Australia and had his first experience with the wine world in a wine tasting in Swan Valley, Western Australia. Following this, he decided to quit his accounting studies to start learning about viticulture and oenology in New Zealand before going on an initiatory journey around the world to visit the most vineyards he could.

When he came back to New Zealand, he and his partner Josefina settled down in the Martinborough region. They source their grapes from grape-growers in the Wairarapa, Martinborough wine region, where the farms are in organic conversion. This particular criterion matters to Alex, as he wants to inject a more progressive approach into his own wines.  Alex always uses skin fermentation and whole bunch methods to reveal the true flavors of the Pinot Noir and Gris, which adds a lot of complexity to his wines and thus makes them very uncommon in New Zealand’s wine production. 

“Most winemakers don’t ask enough questions like, ‘why are we doing it like this?’ Because usually the answer is, ‘well, that’s just the way I was taught’, but that’s not really good enough. Everyone should want to experiment with their technique, as much as possible.”  - Alex Craighead


Martinborough, New Zealand


River gravels

Varieties cultivated

Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir

Yields/Annual production

2,000 cases


Vineyards are organically farmed, very low intervention in the cellar, no addition of yeast or sulfur


Don Pinot Noir 2016

Credit picture: Rootstock Sydney