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Napa Star Cakebread Cellars Anchors the First-Ever HBS 'WineTrek'

The current job market looks remarkably more manageable after a few glasses of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. That was the verdict last month as over 200 HBS students gathered for the annual Westrek job fair in the California Bay Area. Although the technology sector has lost much of its luster of late, Napa wine remains an enduring joy of the California scene.

Students and alumni were treated to a weekend of wine beginning Friday evening with a wine social hosted by Cakebread Cellars at the San Francisco Maritime Museum. A Saturday tour of Napa wineries-affectionately dubbed “Winetrek”-included Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Duckhorn, Robert Mondavi, Opus One, and Pine Ridge. Winetrek was a joint venture of the Wine and Cuisine Society and the HTNM’s Westrek team.
Cakebread Cellars CEO and founder Jack Cakebread and his wife Dolores were the guests of honor at a Friday evening wine social where alumni and students were treated to the best of the Cakebread wines including their hallmark Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cakebread Cellars is one of the hidden gems of Napa valley. Jack Cake- bread discovered Napa in the 1970s while exploring the area with photographer pal Ansel Adams. Just up the road from Robert Mondavi’s headquarters, the Cakebread family has established itself as a leader in both red and white premium wines. Their Cabernet Sauvingnon reserve is one of the best produced in Napa and they also offer a first-class Chardonnay and Sauvingnon Blanc, among others.

A visit to Cakebread Cellars in Rutherford (a region of Napa) is well worth the trip. Housed in a charming redwood “barn” designed by San Francisco architect William Turnbull, the winery is still very much a family operation. Bruce Cakebread has taken the reins as wine maker and Dennis Cakebread is the winery’s business manager.

Yet Jack and Dolores remain very active in the winery’s operations. Jack is the public persona of Cakebread and travels the world promoting his wine and educating aspiring connoisseurs on the merits of Napa wine. Dolores Cake- bread’s passion for food and gardening is apparent in the exquisite flower gardens surrounding the winery and her bountiful vegetable garden out back. While one cringes to think what wonderful wine grapes such precious Napa soil could produce, all reservations are swept away once you try one of her many dishes designed to complement the Cakebread wines. Suggestions for food-wine pairings (complete with Dolores’s recipes) are available on their website: www.cakebread.com.
If you cannot make it to Napa just now (I know, those pesky cases!) you have a few choices. Jack Cakebread will be visiting campus for a tasting with the Wine and Cuisine Society in late February in what promises to be a stellar event, so stayed tuned for information. Their wines are also locally available – I’ve seen them at the University Wine Shop on Mass Ave. (toward Porter) and at Cardullo’s in Harvard Square.

Cakebread Cellars is also available in most fine restaurants. So next time you’re out on the town, impress your romantic interest (or boss) with your taste in wines and order a bottle of Cakebread Cellars.

February 11, 2002
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