The Second Generation

Round Pond Estate, owned and operated today by the second generation of the MacDonnell Family, is a 468 acre Rutherford farm and winery that specialized in the creation of pure, expressive wines, artisan food, and unforgettable experiences – all from the heart of Napa Valley.  In addition to a state-of-the-art winemaking facility and 362 acres of Rutherford vineyards, the estate includes 5 acres of gardens, 12 acres of olive orchards, and one of only two olive mills in the region.  The family also owns a special 10 acre vineyard in the famed Oakville bench.

Brother-Sister team, Miles MacDonnell and Ryan MacDonnell serve as owners of Round Pond Estate.  “As a family we have always enjoyed sharing the day’s stories around the dinner table, with fantastic wine and homegrown food as the centerpiece,” says Ryan. “I’m so grateful to be able to share this joy and all that comes from our estate with others as well.”

Miles MacDonnell

Miles MacDonnell

Miles assumed leadership of Round Pond Estate after working in auditing with Deloitte. Originally a graduate of Southern Methodist University in psychology and economics, he returned to school in 2005, maintaining his responsibilities at the winery while pursuing his MBA at Boston College. His current role at Round Pond Estate includes overseeing viticulture, production, and wholesale sales.

“Ryan and I are incredibly lucky to live and work with our family on family land,” says Miles. “Basically, we grew up camping out in these vineyards, exploring the river, and riding four-wheelers up and down the valley. As a family, we enjoyed the farm-to-table lifestyle before it was fashionable. The philosophy is a perfect fit for our company, with its estate winery and olive mill.”

Ryan MacDonnell Bracher

Ryan MacDonnell Bracher

Ryan MacDonnell Bracher oversees Marketing, Direct-to-consumer sales, the Hospitality program, as well as the production of the Estate’s olive oils and other specialty gourmet foods.

“As a family we have always enjoyed the rustic elegance of wine and homegrown food around the table,” says Ryan. “It’s a privilege, now, to be able to share the bounty of our estate with others.”

Ryan spent ten years working and studying outside the winery at Goldman Sachs and the Hewlett Foundation before joining her family at Round Pond Estate in 2003. Her educational background includes a JD from Stanford Law School and an undergraduate degree in Political Economy from UC Berkeley. She lives in a home on the Rutherford estate with her husband, Charles Bracher, and their children Ava, Adeline and Genevieve.

In the early 1980s our parents, Bob and Jan MacDonnell, bought the first parcel of land in the Napa Valley of what would one day become Round Pond Estate. Guided by their dedication and insight, for more than thirty years our family has had the privilege of discovering the inner beauty of this remarkable land. From the beginning, we knew that this rich, fertile part of Rutherford had all the potential to produce world-class wines and specialty foods of rare distinction. Perhaps more important, from our earliest efforts on, we found great joy in sharing these creations with friends and family.

Working the land, especially a great piece of land, is not about bending it to your will. Through a passionate process of experimentation and refinement, for more than a quarter century, our family has strived to help this magnificent property evolve and achieve its full potential. As our home, and the center of our family life, over the years we have grown to know Round Pond intimately – we have discovered its complexities, learned its secrets, and coaxed fruits of rare quality from its rich soils.

My brother Miles and I grew up at Round Pond. We played in the vineyards and learned respect and appreciation for the land from our mother and father. Today, as managing partners, we are proud to continue their hard work with an eye to the future. Offering a second generation of energy and dedication, we have focused on the creation of our family’s estate wine program, and the production of artisan gourmet foods from the abundance of Round Ponds’ orchards and vineyards. Still guided by the practical wisdom and aesthetic vision of our parents who maintain an active relationship with the land, we strive to craft products of unparalleled quality, while nurturing our home.

– Ryan MacDonnell