Uncorked: Rosemary Cakebread

Married to Bruce Cakebread, president of Napa’s famous Cakebread Cellars, Rosemary Cakebread is making a name for herself in her own right. Heading up the acclaimed winery Gallica in St. Helena in Napa Valley,  Cakebread makes a diverse repertoire of wines from Rhone varieties to Albariño. But what made her stand out is her restrained and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon. A graduate of University of California Davis’ Viticulture and Enology programme, Cakebread honed her skills at several cellar jobs and later for nine years as winemaker at Spottswoode Vineyard and Winery, prior to founding Gallica in 2007. In an interview with dbHK, the winemaker chats about her passion for art, the dark side of wine industry, and her dream outdoor summer dinner party.

What bottle sparked your love of wine?

Well aged Cabernet Sauvignon – too many wonderful ones to mention.

What would you be as a wine?

A vintage rosé champagne.

Where are you the happiest?

The harvest in Napa Valley. There is no better time of year to be immersed in winemaking with a singular focus.

What’s your greatest vice?

Art galleries and anything from the wonderful Model Bakery in St. Helena, Napa Valley, my hometown.

What’s on your wine bucket list?

I love to travel and South Africa, the south of England, and Israel are all on my future wine region “must-see” list.

What is the best and worst thing about the wine industry?

The wine world is a very small community with warm and interesting people. Worse thing: Styrofoam.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

A comfortable outdoor summer dinner with the guest list consisting of friends old and new, my tasting group of over thirty years, my children and family. My husband Bruce Cakebread would plan the menu and cook. I love being the sommelier. Vegetables and flowers from our own garden, and most importantly fairies to drop in and wash the dishes.

Which wine would you like to be served at your funeral?

Ouch. No funeral, just a big party. Bring your own bottle to share!

2 Responses to “Uncorked: Rosemary Cakebread”

  1. Richard Andrews says:

    Rosemary,

    Your wine making is of course legendary! The wine you made at Spottswoode is some of the best I’ve ever had. It is for me such a pleasure to know that there are winemakers here that are not all consumed with points and who they are. Only winemakers like you will ultimately make me want to drink and enjoy great Napa wines. You are a class act totally and your beauty and presence is such a profound joy to all.

    So wonderful to see you enjoying your risotto tonight at Cook.

    Keep well and enjoy,

    Richard Andrews
    a simple admirer and St. Helena neighbor

  2. James Howard says:

    Rosemary,
    First time we met was on a trip down from our home in Oregon! You took us around the winery and vineyard at Spottswoode in the nineties! I had enjoyed your wines at events in the Willamette Valley! I loved the way that your wines were so deep while being so balanced! Now you have taken those wines to another level at Gallica! Both You and Bruce are such genuinely nice and humble people while maintaining a force amongst the great winemakers of the world!
    Cheers and wishing you many great years of happiness and future experiences!
    James and Janice Howard

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