Dennis Cakebread was inspired to launch Mullan Road Cellars after discovering the high quality of wines from Washington state and the camaraderie of the Walla Walla wine community.
Founder & Vintner
Dennis Cakebread is a 40+ year veteran of Napa Valley, where his family built the prestigious Cakebread Cellars from scratch beginning in 1973. He has been active in wine industry groups including stints as president of the Napa Valley Vintners and has served on the boards of The Wine Institute, Family Winemakers of California, and WineAmerica. He is currently on the board at American AgCredit.
In 1992, as part of a ‘future planning’ session, the family discussed new future wine projects as part of growing in the wine making business but not getting too large to lose the handmade quality of Cakebread Cellars wines.
Curious about opportunities outside Napa, Dennis began to explore other wine regions that could potentially be home to a new project. Key was that the region demonstrates consistent wine quality and that the community is one built on working together to make better wines. It didn’t take long for Dennis to realize that Walla Walla was a special place that had a significant history of making quality wine and there was an opportunity for new projects to thrive.
Dennis made his first trip up to Walla Walla in 2010. It was through existing contacts and new friendships that he learned about the talents of winemaker Aryn Morell.
The exploration and search for great areas and vineyards continues today.