Enfield Wine Co
Bearded John Lockwood, who looks like a mountain man minus the hiking staff, initially made his name in white wine, specifically Chardonnay from a secluded vineyard in the little-known, unheralded Napa appellation of Wild Horse Valley named Heron Lake. It sits at 427m elevation and its climate echoes the Sonoma Coast more than Napa.
His label, which uses his middle name, began as a tiny side project, but his distinctive, reasonably priced whites, and then a Syrah from Coombsville, quickly drew attention for their fresh, mineral character, purity and moderate alcohol. In 2013, Enfield Wine Co turned into a full-time occupation and since then, the wines have really hit their stride. A science nerd in college, he ended up in San Francisco building guitars, but fell hard for the vineyard scene after meeting the owner of Heron Lake Vineyard, where he worked for 18 months part-time. Famed vintner Ted Lemon of Sonoma’s Littorai became a mentor during an internship there, and for five years Lockwood farmed vineyards for Ehren Jordan of Failla Wines. He’s now branched out to other vineyards and taken on new grapes – Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet, even Tempranillo. But it’s his Chardonnay, Syrah and a brand-new Pinot Noir from Heron Lake Vineyard that have most impressed me.
Above: John Lockwood