Dan Goldfield Dutton Goldfield WinemakerOn Wednesday, April 10, 2024, we had the opportunity to meet and interview Dan Goldfield and Melissa Stackhouse. With Steve Dutton, Dan is the co-owner of Dutton-Goldfield winery. Dan is the original and long-time winemaker and is currently transitioning to brand ambassador. Melissa came on board and joined the winemaking team with Dan in May of 2022. We covered one of their new-release 2021 vintage Chardonnay wines and seven of their new-release 2021 vintage Pinot Noirs. Check out what we learned from and about Dan and Melissa.

Before we get to the wines, I thought I would share some tidbits that Dan and Melissa shared in the interview.

  • Dan grew up in Philly and went to school here in the Boston area at Brandeis.
  • Youngest of 3 boys. His big brother turned him onto great burgundy wines and the outdoors.
  • Dan made his way to California in 1980 to do chemical engineering at UC Berkeley.
  • Then Dan went on to get an M.S. in Enology from Davis in 1987 while working at Mondavi.
  • Dan worked at Schramsberg (1986-1989)
  • In 1990, Dan was recruited to be a winemaker at La Crema winery. They went into bankruptcy in 1991. Dan basically saved the winery. In 1993, Jess Jackson purchased La Crema.
  • In 1994 Jess Jackson asked Dan to develop a new winery, Hartford Court, and focus specifically on cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
  • In 1998 Dan made all the wines at La Crema, Hartford Court, and Dutton Goldfield. He then quit the first two to focus on Dutton Goldfield.
  • Melissa Stackhouse - Dutton Goldfield WinemakerNow onto Melissa Stackhouse, who is from Michigan.
  • She has a degree in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California at Davis.
  • She worked at Robert Mondavi, Sterling, Joseph Phelps, and Peter Michael wineries.
  • She has held winemaking positions at La Crema, J Vineyards, and Meiomi.
  • She was the Director of Winemaking at SIMI Winery before teaming up with Dan at Dutton Goldfield in May of 2022.
  • Melissa will be extensively involved in all aspects of Dutton-Goldfield’s winemaking, as well as overseeing the management of their custom crush clients.
  • Walker Hill Vineyard. Steve planted it about 38 years ago. It produces grapes for their excellent single vineyard Chard and provides a good majority of the grapes for their Dutton Ranch AVA Chardonnay.
  • New vineyard sources coming online in 2022 are the Bodega, Snow and Five Wells vineyards.
  • Docker Hill Vineyard is owned by Bill and Karson Aubuchon of Aubuchon Hardware! It was planted in 2010. It is an 8 acre assortment of Dijon and Heritage clones. The vineyard sits at about 1,000 feet, overlooking the Mendocino coast and generally above the fog line.
  • Devil’s Gulch vineyard was originally planted to hide and mask another plant growing on the property. That didn’t work out so well. It turns out that Pinot Noir was the best crop for this location!
  • Azaya Ranch Vineyard (Petaluma Gap) Pinot Noir (a KWG favorite) returns in 2023!
  • Dan is a storyteller. You can hear more of his stories via the Wine Makers podcast – Enjoy!

Below is a summary of the wine offerings from Dutton Goldfield that we covered with Dan and Melissa. The links below are to our full reviews. If you are interested in ordering and trying these wines, you will find some of these wines via your favorite fine wine shop or on top quality wines lists. You can also purchase these wines on the Dutton Goldfield website.

Dutton Goldfield Logo

  1. Dutton Goldfield 2021 Chardonnay “Walker Hill Dutton Ranch” (Green Valley) $55 (KWGTP 94.5)
  2. Dutton Goldfield 2021 Pinot Noir “Angel Camp Vineyard” (Anderson Valley) $74 (KWGTP 93.5)
  3. Dutton Goldfield 2021 Pinot Noir “Docker Hill Vineyard” (Mendocino) $78 (KWGTP 94)
  4. Dutton Goldfield 2021 Pinot Noir “Deviate” (Sonoma Coast) $78 (KWGTP 95)
  5. Dutton Goldfield 2021 Pinot Noir “Emerald Ridge Vineyard” (Green Valley) $74 (KWGTP 93)
  6. Dutton Goldfield 2021 Pinot Noir “Fox Den Vineyard” (Green Valley) $74 (KWGTP 93.5)
  7. Dutton Goldfield 2021 Pinot Noir “McDougall Vineyard” (Fort Ross-Seaview) $78 (KWGTP 94)
  8. Dutton Goldfield 2021 Pinot Noir “Devil’s Gulch Vineyard” (Marin County) $60 (KWGTP 94)

You can find reviews of past and future Dutton Goldfield wines that we cover on the Dutton Goldfield KWG winery page on our website. We hope you enjoy these terrific wines as much as we did. Cheers! – Ken

By Ken

Ken launched KensWineGuide.com in November 2006.

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