OS OLIVOS, Calif. (Jan. 06, 2015) – Santa Barbara County’s Zaca Mesa Winery & Vineyards today announced the promotions of Eric Mohseni and Kristin Bryden. Mohseni was promoted from winemaker to director of winemaking and vineyard operations, and Bryden was promoted from associate winemaker to winemaker.
Mohseni joined Zaca Mesa in 2001 as enologist and served as winemaker since 2008. Bryden joined Zaca Mesa in 2011 as assistant winemaker.
According to Zaca Mesa General Manager Paul Pease, Zaca Mesa has moved in the last three years from an estate winery to distinctive vineyard and winemaking businesses. This was done by purchasing fruit to process varietals not best suited to grow at Zaca Mesa, such as Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, and by selling fruit from Zaca Mesa’s vineyards to other wine producers. The result is far more emphasis on each element of the process – the farming, the production, and the business operations – all standing on their own responsibilities and contributions. This gives Zaca Mesa much more reach to the market beyond Rhône varietals and at the same time helps establish the Zaca Mesa vineyard brand through other brand labels as a vineyard designate. Mohseni’s and Bryden’s promotions reflect their more specialized roles in this shifting business model.
“Eric Mohseni leads Zaca Mesa in coordinating and managing our vineyard improvements that are helping us produce ever more outstanding wine, coaxing the most out of what the land and Mother Nature gives us,” said Pease. “Kristin Bryden has proven her skills by orchestrating our Homage Series winemaking that focuses on varietals originally planted to our estate that we now source from top vineyards in Santa Barbara County, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. We are fortunate to have such skilled and dedicated people that continue to develop and master the craft of winemaking at Zaca Mesa.”
About Zaca Mesa: (zacamesa.com) With more than 40 years of grape growing experience in the Santa Ynez Valley, Zaca Mesa’s winemaking and vineyard teams meticulously farm the estate vineyard to focus on terroir-driven wines. Zaca Mesa began growing Rhône varieties in 1978, when they were the first to plant Syrah in Santa Barbara County. The 700-acre Zaca Mesa estate, with 150 acres planted to vineyard, is situated less than 30 miles from the Pacific Ocean at an elevation between 1,300 and 1,500 feet above sea level and is ideally suited to varietals from the Rhône Valley of France, including Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Viognier, Roussanne, and Grenache Blanc. Since 1997, the winery has replanted more than half of its original vines with high-density plantings of Rhône varietals with new rootstock and clone combinations.