It’s hard to imagine a more ideal successor to Copain’s winemaking legacy than Winemaker and General Manager Ryan Zepaltas. Even more compelling than Ryan’s winemaking pedigree is his passion for Copain’s style of wines- the same style he championed under his own, critically-acclaimed Zepaltas Wines. He grew up in Wisconsin, where wine just wasn’t part of the picture. After college, Ryan moved to Sebastopol, CA to pursue his real passion at the time: skateboarding. After two weeks, he was broke and in search of a job. Luckily, Ryan’s friend was the cellar master at La Crema and offered him a harvest job. He stayed on at La Crema for two years, learning all the cellar basics, before hearing of an opportunity to work harvest at New Zealand’s acclaimed Villa Maria. While there, Ryan realized that winemaking was his calling.
After returning to the states in 2000, Ryan interviewed with Siduri, a then relatively unknown Pinot Noir producer. Over the next two decades, Ryan played an integral role at Siduri, first as Cellar Master and then as Assistant Winemaker and Winemaker. In 2004, Ryan launched his own label, Zepaltas Wines, to focus on small-lot, cool-climate Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Then, in 2018, Ryan was offered his “dream job”, as Winemaker and General Manager for Copain. Today, Ryan continues the winery’s unwavering commitment to elegant, balanced and food friendly wines. When not at the winery, Ryan spends time with wife, Anna and daughters Audrey and Claire.