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Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Wine Country Wedding Celebration in Newcastle, CA

Hunter and Paige McGillivray celebrate on November 6, 2010

When Hunter, the son of Dono dal Cielo owners Bill and Karen McGillivray, proposed to his girlfriend Paige the location for their celebration was a given. Their family winery is part of the growing Placer County wine region.

What's better than owning a winery? That would be having your in-laws own a winery. My family named their boutique estate winery, Dono dal Cielo which means "Gift From Heaven" in Italian. My gift has been to enjoy the fruits of their hard labor for several vintages of Zinfandel as well as a few whites and even a great rosé.

Just take a peak at a few photos I've taken over the years of this majestic property located in the tiny Sierra Foothills town called Newcastle, California.

The moon rising over the new vines

Looking east towards Auburn early one morning

Sprawling lawn areas were ideal for the outdoor portions of the wedding

Rows of Zinfandel vines comprise most of the thirty acres of Dono dal Cielo

For this first ever wedding at Dono dal Cielo they constructed a rustic arbor at the peak of the ceremony hill. It was a perfect fall day to be wed and a great evening to party into the night.

From behind the alter during a solemn moment of prayer

Hunter and Paige included many family traditions in their celebration as he wore the traditional Scottish kilts. They also used his grandfather's vintage 1956 Lincoln Mark II to shuttle Paige up to the ceremony site as the bagpipes announced her entrance.

Local Sacramento area based wedding photographer, Carmen Salazar captured their wedding memories. What I love about Carmen is how she caught the many moods of the McGillivrays from serious to playful and back again.

When the sun set the reception kicked into high gear we dined on great food stations by The Chef's Table restaurant. The crush pad area and tasting room were warmly lit creating a dramatic setting for Hunter and Paige's first dance.

From the tender moment of their first dance...

....to sheer chaos on the dance floor as Paige and Hunter embraced every moment

Even this bottle of Dono dal Cielo 2007 Zinfandel became more festive with special wedding decorations. No doubt a record was set on 11/6/10 for corks popped in one day at the winery.

For me the highlight of the reception was when Hunter and Paige toasted all of the guests with their favorite treat of milk and cookies. This personal touch was both whimsical and a greatly appreciated late night snack for everyone.

The first Milk and Cookies Toast to guests I've ever seen by a bride and groom

This parting shot is my favorite of all the images that Carmen captured. This wedding was spectacular on so many fronts. It is featured with more of Carmen's photos on my website gallery. Thanks to the McGillivrays for their hospitality and sharing this special place called Dono dal Cielo. Thanks to Carmen Salazar for taking all of these great images and for sharing them with me for my blog. And a huge thanks to Paige and Hunter for having such a great vision of their wedding that came to life for everyone there. Happy Anniversary and looking forward to the many more you will be celebrating ahead!

Dono del Cialo is busy putting on many events of their own. Any chance I can get I enjoy blogging about activities they've hosted like the Sierra Century cycling event and the Winemaker's Dinner to celebrate four new releases at The Chef's Table restaurant in Rockin. Every weekend something is happening at what I affectionately call "Donoland." You will find singer songwriters performing in the tasting room, art classes, jewelry and even yoga events. For more information including a calendar of events visit their website at www.donodalcielo.com.


  1. Thank you for such a wonderful reminder of our day. Beautifully written Carl! Our dance floor would never had been as electric without your touch!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing my images of Hunter and Paige's beautiful wedding...it was such a magical day!

  3. Paige & Hunter,
    It was a blast to relive your wedding. I hope you celebrated you first anniversary big time in Hawaii.

    Your photos made it so easy to bring back their day. I hope to work with you again. Thanks.