Dawne Sacchetti

Dawne Sacchetti

Chateau Diana (Winemaker)

Dawne Sacchetti approaches winemaking with the logic of a scientist and the curiosity of an adventurer. Raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, she graduated from Mansfield State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Experimental Psychology and a minor in Computer Sciences. Her first job out of college was at the Monell Chemical Senses Center located in Philadelphia. A non-profit, scientific institute dedicated to the study of the senses of taste and smell that are central to nutrition, health, and wellbeing. In addition to running her own experiments, she participated in others, unknowingly practicing identifying specific tastes and smells that would later benefit her greatly in her winemaking career.

On a visit to California, she saw the Pacific Ocean and knew immediately that “I want to live here!” Dawne relocated to California intent on pursuing graduate work. Although her scientific side enjoyed experimental work, her adventurer sided needed to see the world. She put on a backpack and headed for Europe. While traveling through Gibraltar, she heard of a position available on a ship sailing around Africa and across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean. The ship’s captain, aware of Dawne’s lack of sailing experience, took a chance and offered her a position on the crew. Traveling in different countries and sailing across an ocean taught her many things, but most importantly, it opened her eyes to the appreciation of wine.

Upon returning to the Bay Area, Dawne eventually settled in the town of Sonoma, working in the lab at Buena Vista Winery. With her interest in wine budding, she started taking Enology and Viticulture classes in the evenings. She moved to Cline Cellars as Enologist, eventually becoming Assistant Winemaker. This position allowed her to work closely with winemaker Matt Cline for five years using a hands-on approach to winemaking that influences her yet today.

In 2003 Dawne moved on to her next challenge by becoming winemaker for Chateau Diana in Healdsburg. A family-owned winery, Chateau Diana was growing, and Dawne relished the opportunity to begin new and exciting projects. She jokes that one of the reasons she accepted the job was because there was a beautifully appointed laboratory attached to her office. She is currently creatively involved with new and existing brand development, determining and fine-tuning of wine profiles, along with the operation of a medium-sized winery. The winery produces Petite Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Chardonnay, among others.

Dawne lives with her husband Peter along the banks of the Russian River. A fan of live music concerts, she also enjoys cooking, backpacking, kayaking, and getting lost in the West Coast backcountry with her dog Quincy.

As in her approach to daily life and similarly her approach to wine, “It’s really all about balance, isn’t it?”