Born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, California, Jeff Stewart is, not surprisingly, an avid skier. But it was a summer trip to France and an enthusiastic chemistry teacher that enticed him away from the mountains and into winemaking.
“My summer in France was really my first experience with wine as part of the family meal. I was fascinated with the lifestyle and the importance of wine in that culture,” says Hartford Family Winemaker and General Manager, Jeff Stewart. “I knew I wanted to pursue a career in science and after several conversations with my high school chemistry teacher, I was soon enrolled in the Viticulture and Enology program at UC Davis. The idea of combining agriculture, science and the creativity of making wine, something celebrated and revered in many cultures for thousands of years, was mesmerizing.”
A UC Davis graduate with a degree in fermentation science, viticulture, and enology, Jeff has been making Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and old vine Zinfandel in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma County for over 25 years.