Cakebread Cellars produced its first vintage -- 157 cases of Chardonnay -- in 1973, after owner Jack Cakebread purchased 22 acres of bale clay loam soil in Rutherford, California. The year before, Cakebread, a photographer by trade, found himself in Napa Valley taking shots for a book. He remarked to a few friends that a dream of his was to open a winery in Napa. Later that day, those same friends called to offer him a plot of land which would soon become the site of Cakebread Cellars.
Today, the Cakebread family owns a whopping 982 acres distributed between thirteen sites throughout the Napa Valley and the North Coast. Of those 982, 480 are planted; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Franc are the reds harvested, while Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc make up the whites. Among the highlights of Cakebread's portfolio are their distinctive Chardonnays. Their signature house style of both bright acid and sharply delineated fruit flavors makes them immensely food-friendly and has earned them a place on blue chip wine lists around the globe.
Julianne Laks is head winemaker at Cakebread Cellars. She began 20 years ago as an enologist and worked her way up the ranks to assistant winemaker, becoming head winemaker in 2002. Former winemaker Bruce Cakebread took over for his father as president of the winery that same year.