Cakebread Cellars is a well-known winery in the heart of Napa Valley, founded by Jack Cakebread in 1973. He worked hard creating one of the most successful wineries in the world, passing that work ethic on to his sons.

Cakebread Cellars wines are sold all over the world. The Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are legendary award-winning wines featured on numerous wine lists and wine shops. They also produce a long list of other great wines.

Jack’s son, Dennis Cakebread, began his career in the wine industry during his school days helping out in the winery. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975, then attended graduate school. Dennis worked as a CPA in San Francisco for two years, then as a chief financial officer in banking and financial services for eight years before joining Cakebread Cellars full-time in 1987.

Over the last 25-plus years, Dennis has been a huge advocate in direct-to-consumer wine shipping. His efforts helped change the direct-to-consumer laws through a Supreme Court victory, which has led to ground-breaking legislation enabling most consumers in the U.S. to order wines directly from their favorite producers. For Dennis, the lengthy but ultimately rewarding process taught him the value of “patience and persistence, and then more of both.”

With a great love for the wine industry, Dennis decided to look for a new project in another quality wine region that also had a strong work ethic and thriving community like Napa Valley His research and contacts took him to Walla Walla Washington, a pristine area in the Northwest. In 2012, Dennis founded Mullan Road Cellars.

Mullan Road Cellars is named for Lieutenant John Mullan; a 19th-century pioneer who built the first wagon road via the Rocky Mountains connecting Fort Benton in the Dakota Territory (now Montana) with Fort Walla Walla in the Washington territory.

Winemaker Aryn Morrell is a Washington native who spent years making wine in Napa Valley with prestigious wineries such as Silver Oak Cellars, Joseph Phelps, Quintessa and Chappellet before returning to Washington in 2007.

The signature wine produced at Mullan Road Cellars is a Red Blend. They also produce Merlot and Cabernet Franc in limited qualities. The grapes for the Red Blend come from several outstanding, low-yielding vineyards in the Columbia Valley, including the famed Seven Hills Vineyard, as well as Stillwater Creek Vineyard and the Corfu Crossing Vineyard outside Royal City, an area soon to be designated the Royal Slope appellation.

Dennis still spends time in Napa Valley, and his new project in Walla Walla has inspired him to produce more outstanding wines in a new region. Look for Mullan Road Cellars at your favorite retailer, restaurant, or purchase online.

Visit mullanroadcellars.com

2015 Mullan Road Cellars Red Blend

Perfect for Father’s Day! The is an elegant yet masculine wine - 49 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 34 percent Merlot, 17 percent Cabernet Franc with aromas of fresh dark berries, cassis, vanilla and juniper berry, followed by flavors of blackberry, blackcurrant and dark cherry, with a sprinkle of spice.

Cheers!

JoAnn Actis-Grande travels to many great wine regions all over the world writing about wine, travel, and curious lifestyles. She lives in Portsmouth and can be reached by email at j.actisgrande@gmail.com. Find more of her Let’s Talk Wine columns online at www.seacoastonline.com/topics/Lets-talk-wine