The Donum Estate located on an undulating 200 acre estate in the Carneros region between Napa and Sonoma. Donum represents the fusion of Art and Wine with over 40 spectacular artworks on display from internationally renowned artists such as Ai Weiwei, Keith Haring, Tracy Emin and Fernando Botero.  

Arriving at Donum the first thing you see is a 40ft sculpture of a giant head called “Sanna’ by Jaume Plensa, the sculpture of the young woman seems so serene with her eyes closed in meditation.

Sanna, 2016, bu Jaume Plensa

The estate comprises of some exceptional artwork pieces that are impossible to miss and others that are subtly incorporated. I had been standing in the shade of a Palm Tree for a few minutes until I realized it was constructed of old rubber tires, a piece called Black Palm by Douglas White.

With a glass of Donum Rose in hand we embarked on a tour of the property and exhibits. Hong Kong Based collectors Allan and Mei Warburg acquired the property in 2015 and have thoughtfully built the eclectic art collection and wines. Their philosophy is that wine and art have the ability to bridge and connect people across different cultures. After initially adding from their personal collection the Warburg’s have increasingly shifted commissioning pieces specifically for the estate. The result is fabulous property with views over San Pablo Bay that intersperses vines, olive trees and lavender fields juxtaposed with glorious artworks across the hills that represent a diversity of cultures. 

As a European, and yes I still call myself that irrespective of Brexit, I love the way that the Warburgs have called on American, Asian and European artists, and how I can literally be standing in the middle of the Californian wine country marveling at pieces of art produced by such an eclectic array of renowned international artists from the far flung corners of the world including China, Germany, Denmark, Japan, India, Spain, the UK, Belgium and Sweden to name a few..

All or the exhibits were spectacular and unique and I would highly recommend checking out the Donum website and reading about them before visiting to get the best experience.

The “Love Me” sculpture of the heart by Richard Hudson which sits at the highest point of the property and the “Care of Oneself” by Norwegian artists Elmgreen and Dragset were the ones that I was personally most captivated by. The Love Me heart represents the creation of life, the universe and conception, on the one side it looks like it has been impacted by a massive force, on the other it represents conception, birth and renewal. In this year of COVID, I could not help but reflect on Elmgreen and Dragset Care Of Oneself and think about the last year and how we need to focus on our own wellbeing.

Love Me, 2016 by Richard Hudson

The Care of Oneself, 2017 by Elmgreen & Dragset

But it is hard not to become mesmerized by the Windchimes by Doug Aitken, lost in thought as you wander through the Brass Maze by Gao Weigang or among the Contemporary Terracotta Warriors, or ponder the All I Want is You exhibit by Tracy Emin that reflects on loss, love and female power. 

Sonic Mountain, 2019, by Doug Aitken

From left to right: Contemporary Terracotta Warriors, 2005 by Yue Minjun; Self-Portrait as a Building by Mark Danders and Big Half Foot by Frederik Wretman.

All I Want Is You, 2016 by Tracey Emin

A really nice touch is the way the estate also integrates the art into their wine labels. One of the exhibits that represents the traditional Chinese Zodiac with animal heads is incorporated into the labelling to represent the vintage. The Rose wine, that was first introduced on Valentines day incorporates “Love Me” the 24ft stainless steel heart sculpture that sits on the highest point of the property.  

People Tree and Soma, both by Subodh Gupta.

The visit to Donum culminated in a tasting of the excellent Chardonnay and Pinot wines in a serene setting overlooking the tranquil pond and then followed by a stroll through the Lavender gardens. 

A list of the artists can be found on the Donum website

I would highly recommend also listening to the audio recordings by the artists about their works before you visit as it really adds to the experience.. 

Reservations for private tastings and tours of the property can be made by visiting or calling 707-732-2200.