Simply D'Vine in Carson City

Brian Sokol/Nevada Appeal Gene Donner swirls a glass of fine cabernet sauvignon at his home in Carson City.

Brian Sokol/Nevada Appeal Gene Donner swirls a glass of fine cabernet sauvignon at his home in Carson City.

When D'Vine Wine Tasting opens early next year, Gene Donner will be the man behind the bar pouring the chardonnay, cabaret, zinfandel or anything thing else that tempts your palate.

The 200 N. Stewart St. business, which is being renovated, is the collaboration of Donner and his son and daughter-in-law. Kim Donne, is in charge of the retail and gift baskets. Chris Donner is in charge of the bistro.

The trio decided to open the business after returning from a trip to Las Vegas, where there is a plethora of wine bars. Donner, 73, said they want to offer Carson City a comfortable ambiance to serve wines people are familiar with, from the pinot gris made famous in the movie "Sideways" to exotic new wines made near and far.

"We are looking forward to getting to know the people in Carson City who are wineophiles. And we look forward to introducing them to what we feel are good wines."

Donner described his professional life as three concentric circles, which he drew in the air with his hand. For 15 years, he was a newsman, working at the San Francisco Examiner, Chicago Daily News before it folded and several overseas newspapers.

His life as a journalism professor came next, at universities in Alaska, Afghanistan, San Francisco and Japan. Donner's third circle was public relations. He operated a marketing and public relations business in San Francisco for several years before moving to Nevada.

"My most memorable time was the year in Afghanistan. We had a small family at the time, with two babies. You could open up the door, and there was a camel train going by. It made you think, 'What century am I living in?' It was the unique experience of my life."

Not only is this Donner's first retail experience, but it also gives him an opportunity to work with family.

"We want to be something and have food that you won't get anyplace else," said Chris Donner, who is a a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He also plans to demonstrate cooking with wine.

Hannafin Design Associates is the architect on the 2,600-square-foot project. The Tuscan-inspired interior design will include the wine bar, a sitting area with fireplace and a private meeting room. Winemakers will periodically visit the bar.

• Wines that the family recommends:

• King Estate Oregon Pinot Gris, "fruity"

• Canoe Ridge Chardonnay, "buttery"

• Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon, a full-bodied red wine

To build his wine education, Donner visited about 35 wineries. He also keeps a collection of wine-related books and magazines.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.


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