Kristin Bryden

Kristin Bryden

Zaca Mesa Winery (Winemaker & General Manager)

Kristin Bryden, originally from Redding, CA, earned her degree in Food Science at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Although not intending to make winemaking a career, working her first harvest at Wild Horse Winery & Vineyard in Templeton in 2002 convinced her that winemaking was her professional passion. She continued along this path at Wild Horse, where she worked her way up from production technician to enologist and finally assistant winemaker in 2006.

Kristin then moved to Lockwood Vineyard in Monterey County in 2007. There, she was responsible for all winery operations and learned the lesson that “working with an estate vineyard [which Lockwood is] gives you more insight and helps you make better winemaking decisions.” Her familiarity with estate programs and knowledge of the calendar that defines vineyard operations prepared her well for her next position as assistant winemaker at Zaca Mesa Winery & Vineyard, a position she assumed in 2011. In 2013, Kristin was promoted to associate winemaker and then to winemaker two years later. She was named General Manager/Winemaker in 2021.

At Zaca Mesa, she makes Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Kristin is noted for her enthusiasm, keen palate, and sense of adventure. These traits, along with her cellar and lab experience, define her goal of making wines that reflect the winery’s unique site. She is also responsible for the winery’s new label, Tread Wines, where she focuses on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

When not at the winery, Kristin turns to the outdoors as much as possible, where she engages in hiking, skiing, camping, golfing, and snowboarding.