Russian River Valley, USA
Sonoma Coast, USA
Dan Goldfield first moved to California in 1980 to work as a research chemist at UC Berkeley but, bitten by the wine bug, he decided instead to study winemaking. In 1987 he graduated with a masters degree in enology from UC Davis, and followed this with spells at Mondavi, Schramsberg and latterly La Crema, a premium winery in Sonoma's Russian River Valley specializing in Burgundian-style wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes (continued below).
La Crema was purchased by Kendall-Jackson in 1993. Jess Jackson quickly recognized Dan's talents, and in 1994 he asked him to develop a new winery, Hartford Court, focusing solely on cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Over the next few years the wines Dan made for Hartford Court were instrumental in establishing the Russian River Valley as one of California's prime spots for these varieties.
His work also precipitated a move to planting vineyards where it had previously been thought too cold for grapes, in the western reaches of the Sonoma Coast appellation, but which he showed were capable of producing elegant, expressive wines.
His winemaking incorporates traditional techniques, with the use of small open fermenters and punching down by hand for the Pinot Noir, and barrel fermentation with lees stirring for the Chardonnay. The venture has been a great success, with the wines garnering considerable critical acclaim.