We recently had the privilege of attending the 4th Annual Mexican-American Vintners Association (MAVA) Harvest Celebration in Napa Valley. The event was held among the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards of the Carneros wine growing region. The Renteria family graciously hosted the gathering and brought together thirteen Mexican-American Vintners, who poured their best vintages of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.
We enjoyed each wine, served with authentic Baja fish tacos and chicken skewers with a spicy cumin sauce. The food and wines were paired beautifully with music from Trio Solea. The event was attended by over a 150 patrons who had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the growers, vintners and winemakers. What we find so inspiring about the MAVA vintners is that they have grown up in the vineyards, eating, breathing and living the life of wine growing. They understand all of the factors that go in to making a fine wine, from the soil, to the growing conditions and the exact moment when to harvest.
Most of the MAVA members began their careers as vineyard managers or children of vineyard managers and had a passion for making wines. This community is unique. Two wineries that include leading Latinas are Ceja Vineyards and Marita’s Vineyard. Amelia Ceja is the founder of Ceja Vineyards and the first Mexican American woman to become President of a CA based winery.
With the support of her family including husband Pedro, kids Dalia and Ariel, along with extended family, Ceja has become one of Napa’s mainstay wine brands. Marita’s Vineyard is run tirelessly by sisters, Mara and Sophia Montes, the namesakes behind the wines (SOMA and the flagship: Marita’s), and work closely with their father and winery founder Bulmaro Montes (of Joseph Phelps Insignia fame) producing boutique Cabernet from the Coombsville AVA of Napa. We were so honored to have attended this spectacular event where we were able to meet these families in the California wine world. We look forward showcasing more of MAVA families and their wines.
For more images of the event please visit our gallery.