“Creating ZIATA allows me to be involved in every step of the way
– from vineyard to table.”
After 20 years of marketing Napa Valley and its wines, Karen Cakebread launched ZIATA Wines in 2008. “I had two goals: to create beautifully structured wines that reflect the vineyards they come from; and to be involved in every aspect making wine.” She named the brand in honor of her mother, Mary, and hired Anne Vawter, a protégée of Heidi Barrett, as winemaker.
Karen started ZIATA in 2008 with two varietals, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, which she chose for their food-friendly qualities. In 2009, she added a Cabernet Franc to the portfolio. She remains involved in every aspect of her wine, from vineyard sourcing to harvesting, blending, bottling and selling.
“My mother, Mary, was one of the “Rosie the Riveter” women of WWII,” says Karen. After high school she moved to Seattle with a girlfriend and found a job working in the shipyards as an arc welder, which she loved.
“Karen and I both love wines that are elegant, yet deep and complex,” says winemaker Anne Vawter. “To me, the best time to create those kind of wines starts during the growing season, so many of my ‘winemaking’ decisions occur outside the winery and long before harvest. “