BRYAN ZESIGER & GINA MONTALBANO
The story of Z&M Twisted Vines Wine and Winery is, above all, a love story. The seed was planted when US Army Major Bryan Zesiger met Gina Montalbano, and they recognized in each other a shared love of wine, life, community, and the planet. As their relationship grew, so did the idea that would become Z&M Twisted Vines Wine and Winery. Z&M is not just a product, but the fruit of the marriage between two people, working alongside each other to create a product they believe in, here in America’s heartland.
Tradition With a Twist
When it comes to their wines, Bryan’s military background pairs nicely with Gina’s Italian heritage. Sicily, where her family hails from, has been making wine for nearly 3,000 years. Z&M takes traditional wine production methods and uses them to make something fun, accessible, and most importantly, delicious. From their Blackhawk Blackberry wine, to their Hellfire jalapeño wine, all the way to their Blacked Out Coffee Wines, Z&M specialty wines draw from the best of Old World wine-making to provide something new and exciting, while honoring the surrounding military, local, and farming communities.
Care for the Community
Like any great marriage, Brian and Gina complement each other, putting their combined talents to work to give life to their community. Z&M wines are locally grown, sourced, and bottled on location. They believe wine should be fun, giving people an excuse to get together or to enhance a gathering. That is why Z&M regularly holds events at its store on 620 Cherokee Street in downtown Leavenworth for the people who live, work, and study here, often donating a portion of proceeds to local charities. It’s why Z&M is a fixture at community events in and around Leavenworth, and on and off post at Fort Leavenworth. It’s why they take pride in hiring military spouses, veterans, and local folks.
Care for the Planet
Z&M believes in treating the Earth with care and intention. You won’t see harsh chemicals at their Twisted Vineyard, which is equipped with a specialized irrigation system that is replenished by rain water, minimizing their ecological footprint. Because Z&M are committed to keeping their products chemical-free, they keep weeds out by using recycled newspaper to line the beds. In August of 2019, Bryan and Gina started Bella Vino, a sustainable self-care line of soaps, lip care, body scrubs, and candles made with repurposed ingredients from the wine-making process.
Z&M Twisted Vines Wine and Winery is more than unique, handcrafted, boundary-pushing wine. Z&M believes it has a part to play in the wellbeing of the whole person - mind, body, and spirit - living in community with friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family.