Natalie Bath

Natalie Bath

Rudd Estate (Winemaker)

Natalie Bath is a native of California, having grown up in St. Helena. After graduating from college, she returned to the Napa Valley with the intention of going on to earn a law degree. This was not to be, however, because she fell back in love with her home territory. Moreover, she gained a deeper appreciation of wine while working at Angèle Restaurant and Bar in Napa. This prompted her to explore whether embarking on the journey to becoming a winemaker was the right decision for her.

Natalie’s exploration started when she participated in her first harvest through an internship at Napa’s Etude Winery in 2010, where she embraced the long hours, manual labor, and comradery that comes with the hectic times of harvest. She then completed two internships in 2011, first working harvest in the Spring at Villa Maria in the Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand and then doing harvest in the Fall at Littorai Winery in Sebastopol. At Littorai, Natalie got her first experience with biodynamics while working under Ted Lemon.

Not knowing where to go next and determined to make winemaking her career, a conversation with Samantha Rudd, a longtime friend, turned into an opportunity to work harvest at Rudd Estate in 2012. As Natalie says about this, "It was like finally coming home—I grew up playing in the vineyards and running around the estate as a kid with Samantha. Being here [at Rudd] just felt right.” In 2014, Natalie joined the winemaking team full time as a cellar hand and was promoted to oenologist in 2016. That same year, an opportunity of a lifetime presented itself in the form of Natalie traveling overseas to work harvest at Chateau Petrus. Returning from her travels, Natalie was named assistant winemaker at Rudd Estate in 2017 and as the lead winemaker for its Crossroads label the following year.

Natalie was promoted to winemaker in 2021. This was the impressive result of a long journey: nearly a decade of influencing the wines both in the cellar and in the vineyards by innovating the white wine program; helping the vineyard team integrate biodynamics into the winery’s organic farming practices; refining the wine analysis program; launching the Crossroads label; and creating the winery’s first vintage of sparkling wine.