If you love Napa Valley wines, Karen Cakebread's surname is one that you'll instantly recognize. Karen spent 18 years at the renowned Cakebread Cellars, leading the international marketing initiatives for the winery founded by her former in-laws. In 2008, Karen's wine expertise and passion inspired her to start her own winery - ZIATA. Named in honor of her mother, Mary Annunziata Webb, ZIATA provided Karen with the freedom to do things her way. "Creating ZIATA gave me this outlet for all of my passions," said Karen. Choosing where we source our fruit, working closely with our growers and our winemaker, building strong connections with our customers - I love being able to put my personal touch on all of it."
Down-to-earth and vibrant, Karen is a real go-getter who seems most at ease when she's defying convention. After all, she launched ZIATA with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir - quite an anomaly in Napa where Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay reign supreme. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Karen and was very impressed by ZIATA Wines. Anyone can do something different but you still have to do it well. With ZIATA, Karen has not only succeeded in producing wines that tell her story but are also meticulously crafted and expressive.
ZIATA Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Napa Valley ($30)
Rich but vibrant, this luscious medium-bodied Sauvignon Blanc has lively flavors of clementine, honeycomb, peach, and a pop of spice on the finish.
ZIATA Pinot Noir 2013, Green Valley, Russian River ($50)
Silky and fresh with elegantly intermingled flavors of cherry, tea leaves, and a dash of black pepper.
ZIATA "Mia Madre" 2013, Napa Valley ($100)
A sumptuous blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, "Mia Madre" is a superb tribute to Karen's mother. Layered flavors of ripe red & black fruits, warm spices, and integrated tannins make this a delicious sip now but this regal red also has what it takes to age beautifully.
Karen has clearly created something very special with ZIATA and I look forward to following her journey. Cheers!