Anne Vawter and Jim Striegel began their partnership with the common goal of making balanced, complex, delicious and accessible Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in the challenging economic environment of the late 2000’s. Jim believed in Anne’s ability to make beautiful wines that would attract a following and Anne believed in Jim’s ability to promote the brand and introduce it to so many loyal followers and wine club members. With their complimentary skill sets, they joined together and established Red Mare Wines.
An avid horse woman, Anne named her wine label in honor of her red mare, Paradigm, who was a bonus given to her during her time at Paradigm Winery. The inaugural release of Red Mare Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2007 vintage, sold out in just two months. From that point, Red Mare gained a name for itself and has continued to produce the highest quality wines.
Growing up on a farm in Walla Walla, Washington, Anne developed a deep appreciation for agriculture from her father, and inherited his love of wine. He introduced her to wine through tastings of Leonetti, L’Ecole No. 41, and other wines from that region. He also inspired her to reconsider a career in dentistry and enroll in UC’s enology program.
After graduating from UC Davis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Enology and Viticulture, she worked for wineries in Washington, California and Chile before settling in Napa. Anne recognizes that her experience at UC Davis provided the scientific base to develop a sound winemaking and viticultural philosophy.
In Napa, Anne was honored to work as assistant to Heidi Barrett at Paradigm winery. Heidi’s mentorship proved invaluable to Anne’s growth as a winemaker and helped craft her winemaking style. It was a time of intense learning and growth which gave her the knowledge and courage to launch her winemaking consultancy. Anne’s winemaking clients include Ziata Wines, Oakville Ranch Vineyards and Teaderman Vineyards.
In addition to making wine, Anne manages Blossom Creek Farm, a horse farm in Calistoga, CA. Anne, her husband Cameron Vawter (Director of Production at Dana Estates in Rutherford), and their two children live on the ranch with their horses, chickens, a cat, a dog, and a bee hive. She and Cameron enjoy rock climbing in the Sierras and sailing on the San Francisco Bay during their free time.
Jim Striegel began his love of wine at an early age while making wine with his father. They shipped a variety of grapes from Napa Valley, California to their hometown of Carbondale, Illinois and enjoyed red table wine with family and friends.
Jim enjoyed summers in Napa Valley with childhood friends when there were only ten wineries in the area, including Stag's Leap. They would hang out in the vineyards and the cellars, experiencing the rich traditions that come along with it, including the annual "blessing of the grapes".
With over forty years of experience in sales and marketing, Jim has built many successful businesses in the apparel, automobile and real estate industries. He worked for Izod Lacoste in Paris in the eighties and was able to further his wine education in both the Burgundy and Bordeaux regions of France.
When he was ready to begin his own brand, he called renowned winemaker Heidi Barrett. In addition to being a huge, longtime fan of Heidi's winemaking, he worked with her on a wine dinner in the Dallas area and trusted her advice and guidance. It was through Heidi that he met winemaker and partner Anne Vawter and the rest is history.
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