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“Do the best you can with what you’ve got.”

Alison Doran, Winemaker

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Alison Doran is the winemaker for Belted Vines. Alison learned her trade from the best in the business, sharpening her skills at UC Davis, in France, and under the guidance of André Tchelistcheff himself. She’s been making wine from our vineyard for Hill Family Vineyards for more than 15 years, and when we asked her to help us out with our own wines from our vineyard, she didn’t let us down.


Alison loves making site-specific wines that taste like where they’re from. Her winemaking philosophy is to “do the best you can with what you’ve got.” Our vineyard has plenty of cool and breezy weather, which means the grapes make refreshing wines with great energy and personality.

Albariño is a natural here, because it delivers so much interesting character even at lower sugar levels. Merlot needs to hang out a while longer to get fully ripe, but once it gets there, the wine turns out gorgeous, rich, and fresh.

Alison’s favorite cut of beef with Merlot? Grilled short ribs, with or without the bone.

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