Raised on his family's citrus ranch in Ventura County, Jeff graduated from Stanford University and earned his master's degree in enology from the University of California at Davis. He served as winemaker during the 1970s at the iconic Mayacamas Vineyards, in the mountains that separate Napa and Sonoma.
Jeff joined a group of partners, which included Mac McQuown, in 1980 to create Carmenet Vineyards (now Repris Wines) on the southwest side of the Mayacamas range. In the late 1990s, both Mac and Jeff planted small Cabernet Sauvignon home vineyards. In 2004 they co-founded Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards & Winery.