Sierra Zeiter

Sierra Zeiter

Oak Farms Vineyards (Winemaker)

Sierra Zeiter, a native Californian, grew up in Stockton and completed high school there in 2013. Finding that she had a passion for science in school and cooking at home led her to combine. these interests by pursuing a B.S. degree in the Wine and Viticulture program at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. This program not only focuses on winemaking but includes training in viticulture and wine marketing as well.

By the time she graduated in 2017, Sierra already had considerable winemaking experience under her belt, doing cellar work while still in high school and following that with harvest internships at Estate Crush, DAOU Winery, and J. Lohr Winery. Just weeks after earning her degree, she was hired as assistant winemaker at Oak Farm Vineyards in Lodi, a position she held until being promoted to head winemaker there in early 2020.

Sierra led the 2017 Grenache Rosé program at Oak Farm, which was the winery’s first release of a blush wine. It was an auspicious beginning: the wine earned double gold at the American Fine Wine Competition. Other varietals produced at the winery include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, and Fiano, among others.

In her mind, “. . . the most important thing for winemaking is the harvest. As tired as everyone can get, it is crucial to stay strong and focused during the entire harvest because that is the core of making the wine.” Among Sierra’s goals is the desire to help earn the Lodi wine region the credit it deserves by crafting the best possible wines from its unique terroir.

Outside of the winery, Sierra pursues her love of cooking by preparing gourmet dinners, ranging from Mexican fiestas to rich risottos and other Italian dishes. She loves the outdoors, as reflected in her snowboarding and hiking activities.