Our Winemaker: Dan Goldfield
Celebrated winemaker Dan Goldfield has been creating award winning Pinot Noirs since 1990. Between 1990 and 1998 Dan played a key role in developing the reputation of western Sonoma County for producing California's finest Pinot Noir, mainly in the Russian River area. Dan crafts his wines using traditional techniques such as barrel and malolactic fermentations for the Chardonnay and open top fermentation for the Pinot Noir. Dan's contribution to the Stubbs Vineyard shows itself in wines that reflect our terroir--- substantial, elegant yet full wines that display the complexity, balance and intensity that we believe is essential to a world-class wine. We are grateful to have Dan on our team.
In barrel fermentation the pressed and filtered grape juice is placed into barrels where the juice gradually evolves into wine. For this process French oak are the barrels of choice. Barrel aging means that the wine is also brought to maturity in a barrel. Often fermentation and maturation take place in the same barrel. Barrel fermentation generally benefits white wines, infusing them with subtle, well-balanced flavors such as cinnamon, vanilla, or nutmeg.
Simply put, malolactic fermentation is a process that prevents undesirable bacterial strains from producing off-flavors. In many cases, commercial winemakers actively prevent malolactic fermentation, or conversion to maintain a tarter, more acidic profile in the finished wine. Malolactic fermentation is generally encouraged in many red wines and some white wines, particularly those that are aged in oak. Un-oaked white wines, such as German wines, generally don't undergo the malolactic process. Malolactic fermentation tends to create a rounder, fuller wine with hints of rich, red fruits.
Open Top Fermentation
Open top fermentation is basically fermenting the juice in a barrel with a removable cap. Throughout the formation process, grapes are punched down by hand several times a day. Transferring the wine is accomplished by a gravity-feed system to ensure that the fermenting juice is treated gently. Even though the process requires repeated uncapping of the barrels, we take great deal care to keep exposure to air at a minimum to prevent unwanted oxidation of the juice.