Ascentia Wine Estates has announced the hiring of Nick Goldschmidt as consulting winemaker for Atlas Peak.
Goldschmidt is a mountain man, spending his career working with fruit from high-elevation vineyards in Argentina, New Zealand and Spain.
“Nick brings unique winemaking experience, specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon with consistent endorsement of quality,” said Jim DeBonis, Ascentia Wine Estates Chief Executive Officer. “His prior experience on some of our other brands and his key relationships with our trade partners make him an incredible asset to our team.”
Goldschmidt is one of the pioneering forces behind the Atlas Peak Mountain Cabernet Series. He believes that Napa Cabernet is a wine of extremes, and that the four mountain appellations surrounding the Napa Valley represent the pinnacle.
“I began this project in 2003 and I look forward to continuing to create wines of distinction for Atlas Peak,” said Goldschmidt. “East vs. west and north vs. south means that these wines are uniquely different and can be measured under one label. With winemaking constant, only the extreme terroir of these rugged mountain vineyards will be revealed in the finished wine.”
Born and educated in New Zealand, Goldschmidt began his career in 1982 as a researcher at New Zealand Lincoln University, where he graduated with Distinction in Horticulture. Goldschmidt went on to specialize in viticulture studies at Wagga Wagga, and oenology with the highly acclaimed Roseworthy program, at Adelaide University in South Australia.
As a student, he worked at noted wineries such as Kumeu River, Coopers Creek and Babich. He went on to make wines in California, Australia and South America, including Calitera in Chile.
In 1990, Goldschmidt returned to California and joined Simi Winery as its Associate Winemaker. He was promoted to Chief Winemaker in 1991 and became Vice President and Chief Winemaker in 1996. Goldschmidt spent a total of 13 years at Simi. He was one of the driving forces that brought the Simi Reserve Cabernet program to notoriety.
In May of 2003 Goldschmidt accepted the position of Executive Vice President and Winemaker at Allied Domecq Wines USA, and subsequently held the same position with Beam Wine Estates before it was acquired by Constellation in 2007.
In 1998, Goldschmidt began making his own wine – Goldschmidt Vineyards & Forefathers – with small productions of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Since then, he has developed a stellar international client list. He is the winemaker for several renowned premium brands, including Boulder Bank, Chelsea Goldschmidt, Pampano, GiaDomella, Errazuriz, Sena and others.
“I enjoy the challenge of working with so many different vineyard sites and wines from around the world,” he said. “My philosophy is to make the best wines possible, with emphasis on the unique characteristics of each individual vineyard, and to maximize the potential of each vintage in a balanced and focused style of winemaking.”