Zidanelia Arcidiacono

Zidanelia Arcidiacono

Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards (Winemaker)

Zidanelia Arcidiacono was only three years old when her family moved from her birthplace in Texas to Mendoza, Argentina. Because the economic foundation of Mendoza is the wine industry, she grew up amid winemakers and hearing stories of their fascinating professional activities. The passion they had for their craft and their life’s work deeply impressed Zidanelia at a young age, and fostered her decision that winemaking was her true calling.

“Z”, a name she’s often called by her friends, earned a bachelor’s degree in winemaking in 2005 from the Universidad Juan Agustín Maza, located in Mendoza. Prior to graduating, she starting working as a laboratory technician for Bodega Cruz de Piedra, remaining there until 2007. Her employment there, however, included a short break after graduation to travel to the south of France, where she worked a harvest in the cellar of Les Vignerons du Pays d’Enserune, a Cave cooperative near Béziers. The “travel bug” stuck with her after she returned to Mendoza, with California being her next destination. To make this happen, Z landed an internship as a harvest enologist at Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards in 2007.

This experience and region so captured her interest that she decided to remain in the US, moving on from Sonoma-Cutrer to an enology position at Fetzer winery in 2008. Her talent, experience, passion, and work ethic combined to allow her to move quickly up the ranks, and Z became the winemaker for Fetzer Reserve Wines and Little Black Dress within a relatively short time.

She returned to her “roots” at Sonoma-Cutrer in 2015, where her experience working on reserve wines made her the perfect fit for the role of crafting Sonoma-Cutrer’s outstanding Pinot Noirs. Initially in the role of assistant winemaker, she now holds the title of winemaker and says that she loves nurturing the wines throughout the process and, even more, seeing others enjoy the results of her work. In recognition of her talents as a winemaker, Z was named to Wine Enthusiast’s 2020 40 under 40 list.

Zidanelia lives in Sonoma County with her husband, Ariel, and children, Gianluca and Gael