Inspired by the birth of our first daughter Stella Mae (and later, her sister Ruby Leigh), we decided to have a life focused on family. Having just become new parents, we took some time to think about what our priorities and goals were, and how to attain those goals. Our top priority is to be parents who are always present for our children. We want to share our relationship with the earth with our kids, and to teach giving through doing. And of course, we want to have more control over our time (yeah right!). After plenty of family conversation, a winery seemed to make sense. We are privileged to have enduring relationships with the Pacific Northwest’s finest growers and winemakers from many years in the restaurant community, many who have become great friends. With all that support, and even more from our parents, we started our little winery in 2004. Our style produces artisan handcrafted award-winning wines, some of them highly sought after. Contributing to our community and to causes that resonate with our family are another way that the wine world helps make our lives rich. In the future we hope to be known for the outlandish things we do in far away sunny places.
Here's to your sunny places,
The Sparkman Family
, Dad, Winemaker and Head Janitor, spent a couple of decades as sommelier and wine buyer in some of the U.S.'s best restaurants: from Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, Michael’s in LA, Todd English’s Olives in DC and Mackay Restaurants in Seattle. His Personal Management Team is headed by Stella Mae and Ruby Leigh.
, Mom, Controller and Assistant Winemaker comes from a wildlife biology background and as wildlife biologist, worked in Spotted Owl, Peregrine Falcon and Salmon restoration programs and later as a veterinary technician in Seattle. Her magnum opus is her role as Chief Developer of Stella Mae and Ruby Leigh.
is Reading Director and a promising singer who is keenly aware that wine is for Mommies and Daddies, and that apple juice is better for you. She is kickin' butt at second grade stuff, ballet, tapdancing, gymnastics and piano!
is Chief Mischiefmaker and Chocolate Thief. She is a big fan of making messes and is destined for life as a mountaineer, explorer and forklift operator. She is in kindergarten and is also a talented ballet dancer, artist, gymnast and dreamer of dreams.
joined the Sparkman family early on as a volunteer while working with Chris at Waterfront Seafood Grill. His frequent travels and love of wine brought him to many fine restaurants and he earned his sommelier certification in 2007 despite the fact that testing was held in Las Vegas.
, a Seattle native, has worked in the Washington wine industry since 2001. After deciding to make the wine world a long term home Linn attended Universities in France and Germany earning a Master’s degree in Viticulture and Enology. 2010 was his first harvest with Sparkman Cellars. He is also involved with the International Pinot Noir Celebration and teaches part time at South Seattle Community College. Linn and his wife Allison live in Northeast Seattle and successfully farm a quarter acre of blackberry briars and buttercups.
is Consulting Enologist and Educator. She has worked at wineries in Napa Valley (Cain and Rudd), Burgundy (Dujac), and Australia (Yering Station). Since 2005 she has been making wine in Washington State (Matthews, Mark Ryan, Baer). In addition to a master's degree in enology from UC Davis, Erica has a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from UC Berkeley. She knows a lot of stuff.
stumbled into the world of Washington wines after graduating from Seattle University in 2010. Looking for a way to stay in the classroom setting, she began taking courses through the Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle Community College, and is working on completing a second degree in Wine & Marketing. She is an avid hiker and reader and is often heard giving Bryan a hard time.
Dick “Pop” Nauman
is Chief Reality Officer and Assistant Winemaker, in charge of 6 am punchdowns and Tough Financial Questions, as well as many Answers…The Outlaw Merlot was made as a tip of the cap to the guy who got the ball rolling with his idea of a family business.
Sarah “Baba” Nauman
is Chief Harvest Childcare Director, tirelessly assisting in helping Kelly and Chris get Things done.
Pat “Gaga” Sparkman
is Co-Director of Southern Operations in Tennessee, with a specialized focus on vegetarian culinary development and grandchildren relationships.
Frank “Papa” Sparkman
is also Co-Director of Southern Operations in Tennessee. Our future winery layout is knocking around in his head, waiting for a good pencil. He and wife Pat serve on the Tough Financial Questions and Answers Board.
is our loyal and trusted winery dog, in charge of security and scraps.