Rod Berglund, a lifelong Sonoma County resident, began his winemaking career as the founding winemaker of La Crema Vinera (predecessor to La Crema) in 1979. That same year he produced his first Russian River Valley pinot noir. Over the years he has made Pinot Noir from many grape growing areas but firmly believes that the Russian River Valley is without peer in the new world for the potential to consistently produce world class Pinot Noir. In 1987 he joined Joe Swan to help him finish that years harvest. The following year he took over the winemaking at Joseph Swan Vineyards and continues to follow in the footsteps of one of California’s Pinot pioneers.
A committed terroirist, he believes that wine’s first duty is to express a sense of place. Over the years he has embraced experimentation as way to further his goal, fine-tuning his practices each year while paying careful attention to what the vintage has given him. The winemaking is usually referred to as minimum intervention: whole cluster and whole berry fermentation in small open top fermenters, passive cold soaking, punching down by hand, wild yeast, warm temperatures and very long fermentation/maceration followed by aging in French Burgundy barrels and bottling without fining or filtration. However he is not dogmatic in his approach. He keeps the winemaking tool box handy, and, if conditions warrant will step in and do what is necessary, whether is the addition of cultured yeast, eliminating whole clusters in the fermenters or possible filtration, in order to produce the best wines possible.