The roots of the Napa Valley run deep. Some of the richest Native American history in California hails from this rich valley. In 1966, the valley underwent a cultural phenomenon that would change the valley’s character for good. It was in 1966 that Robert Mondavi built the first major winery. Following this, waves of European immigrants came into the valley and put their stamp on its character, turning it into a world-renowned wine-producing region.
Currently, the valley is undergoing another cultural shift, or at least the shift is finally being recognized. For years, it has been Hispanics tending the vines upon which the valley’s international reputation rests, from the planting of rootstocks and picking the ripened fruit during harvest, to fermenting the juice into wine and producing the “bottled poetry” that has made the Napa Valley the world-renowned wine region it is. Hispanics are engaged in every aspect of wine production and are the life-blood of the region. Many have climbed to the top of their art and become some of the most exciting winemakers of the region.
In the last ten years, these Hispanic wine growers and winemakers have been gaining notoriety. In fact, the first annual meeting of Napa Valley Mexican-American Vintners Association was held on July 30. One of the best and most refreshing characteristics to come out of this shift is not only great-tasting wine, but a great story as well. In an industry that has become a popular tourist attraction and a huge commercial undertaking, many of the below wineries are small family-owned operations. There is pride taken in the land in which the vines are grown, the work it takes to produce the highest quality fruit and the whole process, grapes to bottle. The recognition of Hispanic contributions in the Napa Valley wine industry is growing; as it does, these wineries will be players to watch in the coming years.
Some of the Hispanic owned and operated wineries in the Napa Valley:
▪ Alex Sotelo Cellars
▪ Ceja Vineyards
▪ Delgadillo Cellars
▪ Encanto Vineyards
▪ Maritas Vineyard
▪ Mi Sueño Winery
▪ Maldonado Vineyards
▪ Renteria Wines
▪ Rios Wine Company
▪ Robledo Family
▪ Voces Wine
This post is also available in: Spanish
Tags: alex sotelo cellars, ceja vineyards, delgadillo cellars, enchant vineyards, hispanic vinemakers, maldonado vineyards, marts vineyard, mi steno winery, napa valley mexican-american vintners association, renter wine, rios wine company, robledo family, voces wine