Photo from 1973


While shooting photographs for Nathan Chroman’s “Treasury of American Wines”, Jack and Dolores Cakebread casually offer to buy the Sturdivant Ranch in Rutherford. The Sturdivant’s take them up on the offer, and soon the first Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc is planted on AXR1 rootstock.

Photo from 1975


The initial winery is built pondside after two years of evening and weekend work, and Cakebread Cellars releases its first wine- a 1973 Chardonnay (157 cases total).

Photo from 1973


With nowhere of our own to crush, we crushed some Cabernet Sauvignon up at Keenan Winery, also helping them to keep their winery permit active.

Photo from 1975


First Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (’74 vintage) released, and first vintage of Zinfandel (from Las Domingus Ranch on Howell Mtn)

Photo from 1977


The original winery is enlarged, and Mondavi enologist, Larry Wara is brought on as wine consultant. Also, a drought year, only 9” of rain!

Photo from 1978


Produced three Cabernets for ’78 vintage: JTL1, Napa Valley, and Lot 2. Steve Kubicki, a high school friend of Bruce, helps with this harvest.

Photo from 1979


Bruce Cakebread joins the family business full-time as winemaker after graduating from UC Davis. Also, 5 fermenters are installed outside the front barn with refrigeration being hooked up the night before the grapes arrived.

Photo from 1980


A new winery building, designed by architect William Turnbull, is added, winning awards from the California Architects Association in 1981, the East Bay Architects Association in 1982, and the AIA Wood Council in 1983. It is also the year of the first Rutherford Reserve vintage.

Photo from 1981


First employee hired, Tod Dexter, stays on for 8 years, and then becomes the winemaker of his own wine label, Dexter Winery, in Morington Penn outside of Melbourne.

Photo from 1982


Jack Cakebread purchases an adjacent 12 acre ranch and plants Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

Photo from 1983


The winery begins using state-of-the-art neutron probe technology to maximize vineyard efficiency.

Photo from 1983


Cakebread Cellars begins marketing internationally in the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Photo from 1985


Remodeling the 100-year-old winery home creates a state-of-the-art kitchen and comfortable accommodations for guests and entertaining. Jim May becomes the first resident chef at the winery, while also working in the tasting room.

Photo from 1986


Dennis Cakebread joins the winery; he’s responsible for finance along with sales and marketing. Julianne Laks’ 1st year as Assistant Winemaker.

Photo from 1987


Cakebread Cellars hosts the American Harvest Workshop as a presentation of prominent chefs and artisan food purveyors from around the country. Future cellarmaster Brian Lee’s 1st year, fresh out of UC Davis.

Photo from 1988


The American Harvest Workshop becomes an annual fall event. It is one of the most important (and fun) dates on the Cakebread calendar.

Photo from 1989


Unknown at the time, but we see vines start to die due to phylloxera. We used a helicopter to dry vines out at harvest due to heavy rains in September.

Photo from 1990


Jack Cakebread serves as president of the Napa Valley Vintners Association.

Photo from 1991


We made our first Merlot.

Photo from 1994


We made our first Pinot Noir and Rubaiyat. Cakebread Cellars completes replanting of all 75 acres of vineyards as a result of damage from phylloxera. 1993 and 1994 vintages of Rutherford Reserve were changed to “reserve” due to the development of sub AVA of Oakville and Rutherford.

Photo from 1995


We started producing Three Sisters and Benchland Select this vintage. The Cakebread family purchases a 60-acre former apple orchard in Anderson Valley near Boonville and begins developing this vineyard to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Photo from 1996


We start buying fruit in Carneros from Foster Road and then Tinsley Ranch.

Photo from 1995


Phase 3 winery expansion project is completed, and further expansion is possible with the purchase of an adjacent winery and vineyard. Dennis Cakebread serves as president of the Napa Valley Vintner Association.

Photo from 1998


Purchased 200 acres on Howell Mountain and commenced development of these hillside vineyards into what becomes Dancing Bear Ranch.

Photo from 2000


Oakville winery facility is completed in time for the 2000 harvest.

Photo from 2001


The Cakebread family purchases the adjacent 1.7 acre McKay parcel.

Photo from 2002


Bruce Cakebread becomes President and Chief Operating Officer, and Julianne Laks becomes Winemaker. We make our first vintage of Dancing Bear Ranch.

Photo from 2003


The 27-acre Foster Road Vineyard (Carneros) and the 40-acre Maple Lane Vineyards (Calistoga) are purchased.

Photo from 2004


Cakebread Cellars purchases Tinsley Ranch in Carneros, the Cuttings Wharf Road Vineyard, and Suscol Springs Ranch in southeast Napa. Stephanie Jacobs joins the winery as an enologist.

Photo from 2005


The Supreme Court hears the Granholm vs. Heald case on direct shipping and decides in favor of consumers and free trade. This leads to numerous states passing enabling legislation.

Photo from 2006


Cakebread Cellars purchases Milton Road property in Carneros. Cakebread family chairs 26th Auction Napa Valley.

Photo from 2007


The East Addition is completed with tasting areas and lab space.

Photo from 2008


Cakebread Cellars purchases Arroyo Creek Vineyard. Cakebread Cellars becomes the second winery to achieve Napa Green certification and still holds this certification today.

Photo from 2009


Dennis Cakebread becomes Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors. Our Suscol Springs Vineyard delivers its first commercial crop.

Photo from 2010


Bruce Cakebread serves as president of the Napa Valley Vintners.

Photo from 2012


Cakebread Cellars celebrates its 40th anniversary

Photo from 2017


Stephanie Jacobs becomes head winemaker for Cakebread Cellars, becoming only the fourth winemaker in the winery’s history.

Photo from 2018


Cakebread Cellars receives the California Green Medal Award for its commitment to sustainability. The winery’s organic garden also achieved Bee Friendly certification. The Suscol Mountain Vineyard was certified fish friendly in 2018; all of the Cakebread owned vineyards are now certified fish friendly.

Photo from 2019


The winery completed construction on the new eco-friendly visitor center, winning Robb Report’s 2020 Best of the Best wine tasting experience. The 2016 vintage of Dancing Bear Ranch was awarded 100 points by Wine Advocate.

Photo from 2020


Dolores and Jack celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary and both of their 90th birthdays. Dolores passed away peacefully later this year.

Photo from 2021


Cakebread Cellars releases the first vintages of the Suscol Springs Cabernet and Cabernet Franc.

Photo from 2022


Jack passed away peacefully in April 2022