Ryan Zepaltas moved from his native state of Wisconsin in 1998–mostly just to be a skateboard bum (not really knowing much about wine). His first wine job as a cellar hand at La Crema Winery taught him the basics of winemaking. After a pair of vintages at La Crema, Ryan headed to New Zealand to work for Villa Maria. It was during his third vintage that Ryan realized winemaking was his passion. He then headed back to the Russian River Valley, and started working for Adam & Dianna Lee of Siduri Wines & Novy Family Winery where he works as the Assistant Winemaker. In 2004 Ryan purchased his first grapes and hit the ground running. In fall 2007, Zepaltas was named one of the “Hot New Dozen of California Pinot Noir” by the Wine Spectator and has built a cult following for his cool climate Pinot Noir, Syrah & Chardonnays.