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The BAzán's

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The roots of Mario Bazán Cellars go back to 1973 when Mario immigrated to the Napa Valley from his native Oaxaca, Mexico. When Mario arrived in the Napa Valley, he was immediately charmed by its beauty and energized by the vigorous wine growing atmosphere he observed. He continued to hone his skills over the next four decades as he advanced step-by-step from a general laborer to grape grower.  Today, Mario has his own estate vineyard and highly regarded vineyard management company farming several hundred acres throughout Napa and Sonoma Valleys.

Gloria joined him when they were married in 2005.  At that time they also purchased their family estate and started the development of their vineyard at the base of Atlas Peak. In 2007 Mario and Gloria’s twins, Antonio and Alexander, were born just as the inaugural 2005 vintage of Mario Bazán Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon was being made ready for market.

Mario envisioned going beyond the vineyard to share in the experience of producing exceptional wines from properties under his management.  For the 2005 vintage, Mario teamed up with founding winemaker Victoria Coleman and realized his dream by introducing his first Cabernet Sauvignon under the Mario Bazán Cellars label, adding a Sauvignon Blanc in 2009.

The high standards Mario sets for himself and his workers in the vineyard are shared by Gloria in the winery and reflected in the production of each wine in the portfolio. Their winemaking venture is a natural progression in bringing Mario’s life’s work from the ground to the table.

Vineyard Magician

Mario Bazán

Mario Bazán is a humble man who has taken advantage of the opportunities life has presented to him while deriving great joy in fostering the health of vineyards under his care. He has gained the respect and admiration from both the winegrowing and winemaking community in the Napa Valley for his continuous hard work and dedication. Mario grew up in his small town in Oaxaca, Mexico where his agricultural life began in his family’s cornfield.  He came to the U.S. in 1973 in search of work and a better life.  He settled in the Napa Valley where he has focused his life’s work in the vineyards.

After working for Joseph Phelps and other prestigious wineries, he joined Robert Mondavi Winery in 1979 as a vineyard laborer and tractor driver.  With his diligent work ethic fueling his thirst for knowledge in the vineyard, Mario advanced through the ranks and was ultimately placed in charge of such iconic vineyards as Opus One and To Kalon.  

He remained at Robert Mondavi for sixteen years until moving on to the historic Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in 1995. There he further developed his skills while working with Warren Winiarski, Michael Silacci and Julia Winiarski for three fulfilling years.  Stag’s Leap was Mario’s last stop before realizing his entrepreneurial dream of owning his own vineyard management company.

In 1997 Mario Bazán Vineyard Management was launched. Mario continues to farm several hundred vineyard acres from Napa to Calistoga including the valley floor, foothills and steep mountain ranges. The launch of Mario Bazán Cellars and the start of his life with Gloria in 2005 have strengthened his dedication to making grapes of outstanding quality. Under his intense stewardship, the wines of Mario Bazán Cellars have received rave critical reviews since the inaugural vintage and have become the favorites of an ardent group of loyal followers.

BUSINESS & CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Gloria Bazán

Gloria Bazán is the pillar of Mario Bazán Cellars’ business activities and consumer relations.  Gloria was born in Michoacán, Mexico and is a graduate of Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo.  In 1992 she obtained a specialty degree in Pediatric Dentistry from the Mexican Army University and practiced at her private clinic in Morelia, Michoacán until April 2005.

Gloria values aesthetics in all she does and excels in the creation of beautiful works of glass art through the unique technique of lampworking where each piece is carefully melted and fused together. Embracing her artistic and aesthetic passion, Gloria worked closely with noted wine label designer Chanda Williams in the creation of the Mario Bazán Cellars logo and label. Building on her own inspirations, Gloria and Mario have fused together a firmly rooted legacy for their children.

Looking back 2005 was a defining year for Gloria, marrying Mario in February, moving to Napa in May and beginning her new career in the wine business in October just as harvest began for the inaugural 2005 vintage of Mario Bazán Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon. All these years later, she loves to share the generous beauty of the family estate where a traditional meal from her and Mario’s native Mexico can be enjoyed overlooking the vineyard. In addition to taking care of all business matters for Mario Bazán Cellars, Gloria is also pursuing a degree in Viticulture at Napa Valley College and is intimately involved in all facets of the winemaking.-house lab, working closely with their production manager and cellar master to produce a Bordeaux-style red wine. In 1996, he joined Clos Du Val, a winery with old world roots, to assist with the winemaking duties, eventually taking the helm as their Cabernet Winemaker in 2001. During his tenure at Clos Du Val, Kian honed his craft in the art of blending, working closely with founding winemaker Bernard Portet. In 2004 he moved towards his current career path, working as consulting winemaker for a number of small, boutique wine brands. With Kian’s experience in producing many different varieties and styles of wines, his new collaboration with Mario Bazán Cellars is a natural fit. “I am extremely excited, and humbled to be working closely with Gloria and Mario Bazán to help them guide the wonderful fruit that Mario grows towards focused, structured, and just plain delicious wines.”

Winemaker

Kian Tavakoli

Kian got his start in winemaking, following his graduation from UC Davis in 1992 with a degree in genetics and a minor in viticulture. His first job landed him at Opus One Winery where he was the enologist responsible for managing their in-house lab, working closely with their production manager and cellar master to produce a Bordeaux-style red wine. In 1996, he joined Clos Du Val, a winery with old world roots, to assist with the winemaking duties, eventually taking the helm as their Cabernet Winemaker in 2001. During his tenure at Clos Du Val, Kian honed his craft in the art of blending, working closely with founding winemaker Bernard Portet. In 2004 he moved towards his current career path, working as consulting winemaker for a number of small, boutique wine brands. With Kian’s experience in producing many different varieties and styles of wines, his new collaboration with Mario Bazán Cellars is a natural fit. “I am extremely excited, and humbled to be working closely with Gloria and Mario Bazán to help them guide the wonderful fruit that Mario grows towards focused, structured, and just plain delicious wines.”

General Manager - Tasting Room

LeAnne White

LeAnne comes to us after an interesting life and career. LeAnne grew up in a small town in Southern Oregon and moved to California in 1989. LeAnne’s life quickly changed as she moved around the country serving as a Military Spouse. LeAnne had the privilege of living in such places as La Jolla in San Diego, Athens, Georgia, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. 

LeAnne has created a career around her experiences and passions. After returning to California in 2005, LeAnne worked in marketing and advertising until 2008 when she opened a small clothing boutique. Due to the economy of the time LeAnne had to make hard decisions and closed her business. This drove her passion for mom and pop businesses even deeper. 

LeAnne started her journey into wine about 8 years ago. First, as a tasting room associate, moving to wine club manager.

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960 Clinton Street | Downtown Napa | 707.927.5564 | info@bazancellars.com | Thurs. – Sun. 12 PM – 6 PM