Joe Freeman, winemaker at Ron Rubin Winery in Green Valley of Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, has been involved in the production of Russian River Valley wines since 1997. After a childhood in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and a pit-stop in the mountains of Colorado, he arrived in Santa Rosa, California. Joe had a desire to find a career that could utilize his training and interest in chemistry, biology, and horticulture, and winemaking was a perfect fit.
Initially employed at Associated Vintage Group in Graton, Joe was provided with a wide exposure to many aspects of wine production. Laboratory analysis, bottling, and cellar and crush operations were all part of his experience over those first three years. An “old school” approach was experienced at Martini and Prati Winery outside of Santa Rosa, with its concrete fermentation vats and redwood storage tanks. Time spent at facilities in Graton and Hopland provided access to modern techniques and equipment.
In 2000, Joe was hired as an associate winemaker at Taft Street Winery, in Sebastopol. He worked with many top Sonoma County winemakers, who were making their wines there. Joe then began working with River Road Family Vineyards and Winery, a client of Taft Street’s. River Road Family Vineyards and Winery had planted a new vineyard in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley, and was building a winery. In 2004, the winery was complete and Joe was hired by River Road Family Vineyards and Winery as their winemaker. A mid-sized family winery, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the primary focus, with additional production of Pinot Meunier and Zinfandel. Working with the wonderful diversity of Sonoma County grapes and appellations provided Joe with continual creative challenges and many drinkable rewards!
Joe is now also the winemaker for Ron Rubin Winery, selecting the finest grapes from the Green Valley estate, to produce exceptionally distinctive Green Valley wines.
Joe lives with his wife Allison and dog Dylan, in Forestville, in their very own corner of the Green Valley of Russian River Valley. They love camping, biking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.