Meet the Team

Marc Goldman

Tasting Room Sales Associate

Marc Goldman, Tasting Room Associate

What are you most proud of?

I look back with pride in my career of public service in the legal profession and judiciary. Overall, I think I had a positive influence on the justice system in my representation of clients, my judicial decision making, and in my many years of teaching lawyering skills and ethics to law students and lawyers.

What do you grow (or cook) at home?

My cooking repertoire focuses on regional foods. I seem to be most interested in Asian, North African and Middle Eastern flavors. However, I still enjoy making a pot of gumbo, a Bolognese sauce, or a rib-eye steak on occasion.

What’s your favorite season in the vineyard, and why?

I enjoy spring in the vineyard the most, watching the vineyard go through the various stages of growth in a short period of time. The rapid transformation of the vines from dormancy to bud break, flowering to fruit set, is magical for someone who never had an inkling about agriculture or farming.

What positive impact do you aim to make in your community?

I see my role at Emeritus as explaining grape farming practices and wine production to visitors in a relaxed and entertaining manner, particularly as they pertain to Emeritus Vineyards. While this is technically a sales position, Emeritus wines sell themselves and my goal is to ensure that visitors enjoy their experience at the winery.


Before coming to Sonoma County, Marc Goldman spent almost 45 years in the legal profession. He worked as a public defender, federal prosecutor, law professor, and federal judge in Michigan, his home state. When the United States District Court for the Central District of California offered him a judicial position in 2001, relocated to Southern California. He retired in 2013, which is when he and his wife, Sonia Benson, moved up to Wine Country.

Though a relative newcomer to the wine world, Marc has always been interested as a consumer and home cook. Retirement allowed him the time to actively engage in the art and science of wine and food. He enrolled in various classes at Santa Rosa Junior College Wine Studies Program for his first formal comprehensive look into the wines of California. Though mainly focused on Sonoma & Napa Counties, he also studied the wines and growing regions of France, Italy, and Spain. Other classes introduced him to viticulture and enology.

Encouraged by fellow students and faculty at SRJC, Marc then began dipping his toe in the local wine industry. His first winery job was as a part-time tasting room associate in Alexander Valley.

A resident of Sebastopol, Marc had driven by Hallberg Ranch several times a week. He always marveled at the beauty of the vineyard, so when a position opened at Emeritus he eagerly applied. The initial interview included a tasting of Emeritus wines, which he found deeply impressive.  Sold on both quality of the wines and the enthusiasm, professionalism, and skill of the Emeritus team, he accepted the position and has been here ever since! In every tasting he pours for, Marc strives to make the experience at Hallberg Ranch educational, informal, and fun.

Outside the tasting room, Marc enjoys cooking, yardwork, travel, and wine tasting with Sonia and their dog, Ozzie. He volunteers as a docent at the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, while Sonia volunteers at the Humane Society of Sonoma County.