Foley Sonoma Winemaker ChristinaZapel

Christina Zapel


With over thirteen years of winemaking experience, Christina brings a fresh perspective to traditional winemaking at Foley Sonoma. Passionate about creativity and innovation, she thrives on the opportunity each harvest brings to challenge herself with new techniques, gently guiding the fruit toward becoming the truest expression of varietal and terroir. 

Born to a large Italian-American family in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, Christina recalls her most vivid childhood memories surrounded by generations of family getting together over a home-cooked meal. Her love of food led her to earn a B.S. in Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health from New York University. After graduating, she spent a summer pouring wine at a tasting room in the Hamptons where she developed a curiosity and intrigue in winemaking. After two years of returning to the tasting room during peak season, her enthusiasm was evident and the winemaking team offered her an apprenticeship that became the first step in her career. 

Since 2008, Christina has worked at wineries from New York to Australia and most recently spent five years at highly-acclaimed Flowers Vineyards & Winery in Healdsburg, California. Christina’s experience at Ross Hill Wines in NSW, Australia, and Flowers shaped her winemaking philosophy into what it is today. While she loves to experiment and continue to add new winemaking tools to her belt, Christina’s ultimate goal is to gently coax the grapes into becoming the purest expression of the land from which they’re grown. “I like to make wines with a sense of place, not too much oak, native yeast, minimal additions, all while preserving the natural acidity in the grape. I want to guide the grapes into becoming a wine, and not be too heavy-handed.” 

Located in the picturesque hillsides of Alexander Valley, Foley Sonoma embodies casual wine country charm set in a world-class growing region. The winery is surrounded by estate vineyards featuring the five noble Bordeaux varietals, enabling Christina to be hands-on from vine to bottle. 

When Christina isn’t at the winery, she enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband Colin, daughter Georgina and rescue pups, Moose and Honey Badger. She is a self-proclaimed foodie and while Italian cuisine is part of her soul, you may just find her indulging in a taco and a tropical cocktail.