The Donatsch family has owned the «Ochsen» in Malans for over 100 years. That's five Donatsch generations of wine connoisseurs. The family-owned business philosophy is to produce true wines of outstanding quality, typical of their location.
The Donatsch family runs a wine-growing estate in the Bündner Herrschaft (Grisons) - one of the leading Swiss wine regions - the wines of which belong to the best in Switzerland.
Thomas Donatsch, who is recognised as a pioneer of Swiss wines, started to raise the quality of his wines to an international standard early in his life.
Inspired by Burgundy, he had already planted Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc in 1975, which, from a legal point of view, was not allowed at that time. In Switzerland he was the first to press a sparkling wine according to the Champagne method. Further, when it comes to pressing methods, Thomas was the first in Switzerland to experiment with French barrels. In 1973 the late André Noblet, the fellow winemaker from the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti gave his friend, Thomas, three used «LaTâche» barrels, in which the first Pinot Noir «Passion» was cultivated according to the classical Burgundy method. To achieve all of these innovations it took courage, as well as oenological skills and the helpful exchange of information with other wine making friends all over the world.
During his vocational training as a vintner and winemaker with several wine-growing estates in Australia, South Africa, Bordeaux and Spain, Thomas's eldest son Martin acquired many new ideas. After he returned home to Malans, he successfully integrated this in depth knowledge with tried and tested methods. Martin is convinced that the Bündner Herrschaft is amongst the best Pinot regions in the world and is sure that its potential is by no means exhausted.
Martin Donatsch has won the 2010 competition for «Champion du Monde des Producteurs de Pinot Noir» – the world champion title among the Pinot Noir producers. The Mondial du Pinot Noir 2011 confirmed it: Martin was «WORLD CHAMPION PINOT NOIR PRODUCER» for the second time in succession!
TASTING IN OUR WINE TAVERN "ZUM OCHSEN"
In our wine tavern “zum Ochsen” we offer wines by the glass. There is a selection of 8 Donatsch wines for you to choose from.
For an individual tasting, select 4 wines from these 8
Our team will be pleased to advise you.
INDIVIDUAL WINE TASTING IN THE
WINE TAVERN "ZUM OCHSEN"
(4 wines of your choice)
GROUPS IN THE CELLAR
We are happy about the huge interest in our wine and our work, and are proud to welcome groups to our cellar. At the same time, however, we ask for your understanding that we have to limit these visits to ensure a smooth workflow. Group visits of 10 to 20 people are therefore only possible by prior arrangement and in conjunction with a visit to our wine tavern, where we offer soup, regional platters with dried meats, sausages and cheese.
The winemaker or our sommelier will lead the tasting
GROUPS FROM 10 PEOPLE
30.- CHF / person
plus restaurant consumption
For time and safety reasons we can not offer tastings in the cellar during the harvest and vinification season. (mid-September to mid-November).
The quality of the grapes must be right from the very beginning in order to produce top wines. As well as having Malans' excellent climate, this requires considerable attention to be devoted to the ground and vines.
Located on various plots, 4.5 hectares (11.12 acres) of vineyards belong to the Domaine Donatsch, with names such as «Spiger», «Selvenen», «Frassa», «Bovel» and «Halde». It is of great importance to us to look after our vineyards so they stay healthy and produce a high standard of quality for generations to come.
After years of experience, we have established which types of grapes are most suited to our ground and now grow these on each plot and thus produce top-class single vineyard wines. The Pinot varieties thrive particularly well in Malans. Therefore our main varieties are Pinot noir, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay, but we also grow rarities like Completer and Pinot Gris. We constantly strive to produce wines of the highest quality, which we achieve by applying strict quality control in the vineyards and harvesting healthy grapes for pressing in the cellar.
We work as close to nature as possible both in the cellar and in the vineyards. Each of our wines is individually cultivated in an optimum manner producing intrinsic single vineyard wines full of character.
Our wine cellar is divided into three modern working rooms and seven centuries old vaulted cellars. The grapes from the various vineyards are all cultivated separately, which leads to a great variety of wines. In this way, various unfermented white grape juices ferment in used barrels producing fruity white wines. To produce Chardonnay and Completer wines fermentation takes place in French oak barrels, where they are aged on the yeast in accordance with the Burgundy tradition, creating full-bodied, mellow white wines in the old Ochsen vaults.
All our red wines are stored in our imposing barrel cellar. We only use french barrels from Burgundy. The fruity Pinot noir «Tradition» in used barrels like a burgundy Village wine, the Pinot noir «Passion» like a premier cru (30% new oak) and the Pinot noir «Unique» just in new Burgundy barrels like a Grand cru.
Malans and wine have been inseparable for over 1,000 years. The historical village centre and lush green vineyards characterise the landscape of one of Switzerland's most beautiful wine regions.
Malans, the most southern village in the Bündner Herrschaft has the oldest vineyard in the region. Wine, fruit and vegetables were cultivated over 1,000 years ago in this excellent climate. The majestic patrician houses are witnesses to these trading times. Bishops and canons received their communion wines from the warmest locations in Malans, such as the well-known Completer hill. This wine was drunk during the Last Supper prayer (the Complete), which is how this old autochthonous type got its name. The Completer, which is also called the «vine of Malans», has - after it had almost become extinct - re-established itself again as a rarity. The Bündner Herrschaft with its historical village, Malans, is not only a paradise for wine connoisseurs and gourmets, but has also become an insider tip for cyclists and hikers. Only small quantities of wine are cultivated in the Grisons canton with its world-famous skiing regions, such as Klosters, Davos, Arosa and St. Moritz, most of which is drunk in the region.