Winegrower/Winemaker - Dan Kessler was born in Lansing,Michigan and graduated with a BSEE/MSEE degree from MIT in 1981. He spent the early part of his career developing state of the art semiconductor fabrication technologies for Hewlett-Packard in Fort Collins,CO. In search of warmer weather, Dan made his move to sunny California where he joined Vitesse, a small high tech startup company, developing and manufacturing semiconductor technology for the supercomputer and telecommunications industries.
A love for wine started Dan on a journey that took on a life of its own, in a kind of "if you give a mouse a cookie" kind of way. Drinking wine led to learning about wine; led to learning about winemaking; led to making wine as a home winemaker; led to planting a small 200 vine vineyard in his backyard; led to obtaining a Winemaker's Certificate from the UC Davis Distance Learning program; led to falling in love with Sta. Rita Hills; led to buying a 40 acre parcel and planting a 30 acre vineyard; led to, well, where he is today.
Dan loves to learn and is actively involved in every aspect of growing and making wine. In the vineyard, you will frequently see him on the tractor or working with the crew. When the early spring weather gets cold, he's out in the wee hours turning on the fans and frost protection systems.
When he is not in the vineyard, you will find him at his second home at Lafond Winery, helping winemaker, Bruce McGuire, make wine at harvest and working in the tasting room.
Michael Rossi - Chef , The Ranch Restaurant