Cliff Lede (pronounced “LAY-dee”) was born in Edmonton, where his introduction to fermentation came when making “basement wine” with his mother. In his late twenties, he befriended a knowledgeable wine shop owner, who gave Cliff his first taste of good wine, a Ducru Beaucaillou. From there began a long and passionate relationship with wine—but for many years it was just that, a passion, while he pursued his career in construction development in Canada.
With the construction business well established, Cliff looked for his next challenge. Having succeeded in his previous business by building big (everything from pipe lines to shopping malls), Cliff drew on his passion for wine to launch a winery that was equally large in vision but focused in scope. Thus in 2002, Cliff Lede Vineyards was created with a mission to deliver excellence.
By marrying his construction background with his knowledge of wine, Cliff was able to build a state-of-the-art winery and produce an impressive portfolio of world-class wines in less than a decade. After years of success with Cliff Lede Vineyards and Bordeaux varietal wines, Cliff found himself increasingly interested in Pinot Noir, especially those from the Anderson Valley. This appellation appealed to him due to the elegant nature of the Pinot Noirs and the aromatic character of the area’s white wines.
At Breggo Cellars, an already promising start-up in the Anderson Valley, Cliff and his team found that winemaker Ryan Hodgins had crafted remarkable wines in somewhat challenging conditions. Together they felt confident that if they supplied the winemaking team with the finest equipment and encouraged them to think only of quality, Breggo could realize its potential.
Cliff is an active owner of Cliff Lede Vineyards and Breggo Cellars and views the estates as complimentary. He works closely with his winemaking and management team to ensure shared standards are upheld and significant benchmarks achieved.
Cliff lives in Napa Valley and, having made friends through community efforts and philanthropy, is proud to consider the area his home.