The Cushman family, owners of Zaca Mesa Winery & Vineyards, has announced the launch of Tread, a new wine label celebrating the diversity of Santa Barbara County through site-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Wines.
For nearly 50 years, the Cushmans has been known for producing character-driven Wines from their estate vineyards in Santa Barbara County. “This extensive experience amongst the vines, coupled with their passion for the region, ultimately inspired the family’s newest endeavor – Tread,” says the brand.
Dedicated to two of Santa Barbara’s most renowned grapes, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Tread sources fruit from some of the region’s finest cool-climate growing sites for their small-production wines, including Zotovich Vineyard and La Encantada Vineyard in the Sta Rita Hills AVA, and Sierra Madre Vineyard and Bien Nacido Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley AVA. Representing the connection between grape and site, vineyard and winemaker, Tread Wines are thoughtfully crafted to reveal a true sense of place, paying tribute to the diversity of the Santa Barbara region.
“Tread may be a new venture, but it’s not entirely new in the sense that it’s more of an evolution from what we’ve been doing at Zaca Mesa,” says Stewart Cushman, President of Zaca Mesa. “We first planted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards on our property in the mid-1970s, and while we made great wines from these varieties, we wanted to turn our attention to Rhône varieties, which we discovered really thrived in our particular location in the Santa Ynez Valley. Not taking away from the purity of that focus, TREAD allows us to return to our roots, sourcing fruit from top sites to explore the special qualities of these grapes in other parts of Santa Barbara County.”
Inspired by the land the Cushman family has “tread” upon for years, the name ‘Tread’ further signifies the connection between vineyard site and winemaker. “As a winemaker, having a connection to the vineyard is incredibly important,” explains Winemaker Kristin Bryden. “When you’re in the vineyard a lot, you not only form a connection to the grapes, but you also recognize how many boots have tread upon the ground, so you can’t help but respect all the hard work that goes into nurturing the vines and all the people it takes to make quality wine. It’s with that awareness that we craft Tread wines to reflect the site, taking a very minimalistic, honest approach in order to capture a pure expression of each varietal and allow the vineyard to come through in the bottle.”
The Tread portfolio features six wines, including single vineyard wines and blends, from cool-climate sites in the Santa Maria Valley and Sta Rita Hills AVAs. Seated tastings of Tread wines are available at the Club Lounge & Terrace at Zaca Mesa Winery.
“TREAD is about remembering our family’s history and where we started, but also recognizing how diverse Santa Barbara County truly is and respecting this place in its entirety,” added Cushman. “TREAD is our way of honoring the land we hope to walk amongst for many more years to come.”