always focused on quality," remarks Jack Cakebread. "We began small and worked
hard to build our reputation. We planted this vineyard out herc and here and over
here," he says, gesturing at the rows of vines stretching in all directions outside
his once. "We knew it was important to set the right goals from the beginning,
even though it meant concentrated effort for many years to achieve them.
"It wasn't easy to get where we are today," Jack remarks. "We have no partners, no shareholders, no investors, none of that. Since quality, not quantity, was our standard, we started out with the idea of marking one barrel, selling one barrel, making two barrels, selling two barrels. As each of our three sons started working here, they became part of that tradition."
Bruce, the first Cakebread son to follow a career in the wine industry, transferred from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, where he was studying pomology, to the enology program at the University of California at Davis. After working in the cellar with Jack for a number of years, Bruce became winemaker in time for the 1979 harvest.
Cakebread's substantial development proceeded according to plan. As the grape supply became available from new acreage, production gradually grew to its current annual average production of approximately 45,000 cases.
To further enhance the quality of winemaking, the original 1973 winery building was remodeled in 1977 and an addition built in 1978. To increase vineyard capacity, the ranch next door was acquired in 1982, the Hill Ranch in 1985 and the River Ranch in 1987. Today, Cakebread Cellars owns about 75 acres of prime vineyard land in some of the most desirable locations in the Napa Valley. The winery purchases additional grapes from people with whom it has been doing business for more than 20 years and whose names are we11-known as growers of top-quality Napa Valley grapes.
"We try to start with the best fruit we can and work with the vineyards very closely so that every berry, every cluster, that comes in, is the best we can get from that particular vineyard," states Bruce. "We pinpoint the best location for each variety to grow and either grow the grapes ourselves or buy them from vineyards in those areas that meet our quality standards. Our basic philosophy is that we want to keep improving and increasing the quality of our wines, not a dramatic departure from one year to the other, but a slow evolution in style so that the people who enjoy our wines vintage after vintage will continue to find them interesting and exciting."
Cakebread Cellars / 8300 St. Helena Highway / Rutherford, CA 94573 /