Cecil & Marilyn Zerba
Cecil Zerba was born and raised in the Walla Walla Valley. The Zerba family's roots in the Walla Walla Valley can be traced back to the 1850's. Marilyn was born in Redmond, Oregon and moved to the Walla Walla Valley when she was nine years old. Cecil and Marilyn were married in September, 1981. At the time, Cecil was an electrician and Marilyn was a registered nurse. Soon after they were married, Cecil and Marilyn established Zerba Gardens, a local nursery producing quality plants and produce. "We started the nursery to keep the boys busy in the summer", says Cecil. Over the next 20 years, Zerba Gardens grew into one of the valley's most successful and trusted local nurseries. In 2001, Cecil and Marilyn Zerba left the nursery business and founded Winesap Vineyards.
Brent Roberts, Winemaker
Having spent his formative years immersed in the arts, winemaking was an alluring career path for Brent Roberts. After graduating from the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, an art-focused alternative Middle School and High School in Vancouver, Washington, Brent spent his late teens and early twenties entertaining the fanciful notion of becoming a filmmaker or an indie-rock musician. During this time, he began to develp an incresingly passionate interest in wine. This interest would come to full fruition upon discovery of the Washington State University Viticulture and Enology program. Having never considered winemaking as a viable career option, this discovery served as an epiphany that there indeed was a "practial" career trajectory in Brent's future.
In the Fall of 2012, while on a WSU Viticulture and Enology Club trip to Lake Chelan wine region, Brent would meet his future wife, Kate. The two made the move to the Walla Walla Valley in the summer of 2014, whereupon Kate was hired by Zerba Cellars as the wine club manager; a position she would occupy for just shy of three years. Following stints with notable Washington wineries including The Hogue Cellars, Seven Hills Winery and Gramercy Cellars, Brent would also join the Zerba Cellars team as Enologist. In the Fall of 2017, Brent would take the helm as Winemaker.
Having worked in multiple wineries across Oregon and Washington, Brent's experience and dedication to promoting the wines of his native Northwest will continue to shape the exceptional quailty found in every bottle bearing the Zerba Cellars label. In his spare time, Brent enjoys spending time with his wife Kate and their young daughter, Lilly, cooking, listening to music and poring over wine chemistry and viticulture text books.