Eric Sussman

Born and raised in New York State, Eric developed his passion for winegrowing while studying agriculture at Cornell University in the late eighties. Inspired by wine’s unique connection with its place of origin, he set out to work with and learn from world-class producers near and abroad.

Venturing to Washington’s Yakima Valley, Eric spent several years among the vines and in the cellar of a small artisan producer. By managing the estate vineyard through the organic certification process and eventually assuming responsibility for winemaking, he experienced first-hand the relationship between vineyard practices and wine quality.

Moving on from wine’s relatively new frontier in Washington State, Eric immersed himself in the old-world culture and traditions of France. Present for two exceptional vintages, he spent 1995 apprenticing in Bordeaux at Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Clerc Milon in Pauillac, and 1996 working in Burgundy at Domaine Comte Armand of Pommard and Domaine Jacques Prieur of Meursault. He studied in Beaune, and visited many of the great cellars and vineyards in France. Apprenticing alongside men and women who have tended the same vineyards and wines through countless seasons reinforced Eric’s profound respect for the intrinsic connection between land, people and the wine they produce.

Returning to the United States, Eric headed immediately for northern California, where a one-year post collaborating on the wines at Bonny Doon in Santa Cruz exposed him to a complex array of grape varietals and blends. Migrating further north along the coast, he settled in western Sonoma County, and spent the next four vintages – 1998 to 2001 – gaining valuable experience as the associate winemaker at Dehlinger in the heart of the Russian River Valley. Working with one of the area’s finest estate producers enhanced his appreciation for the world-class wine grown in this region.

In 2002, Eric established Radio-Coteau, focusing on the north coast vineyards of western Sonoma County and Anderson Valley. With their benchland locations, well-drained soils, exposure by capricious marine air and fog, these sites host grapes naturally suited to their surrounding elements. This natural selection afforded Eric an opportunity to refine his Old World experiences while working with New World grapes. For more than a decade, he has strived to balance nature’s expression with a delicate, but disciplined human touch in these handcrafted wines.