FROM DISHWASHER TO WINERY OWNER – THE AMERICAN DREAM IS ALIVE IN NAPA VALLEY

by Liz Thach, MW

 

MiSuenoCarnerosChardonnay1The sun was slowly setting over the Western mountains of Napa Valley as the more than 200 guests at the Mi Sueno Winery celebration sat down to a 4-course dinner at the Michelen star Restaurant at L’Auberge de Soleil. Champagne was poured as Cristina Londono with Telemundo gracefully stood to propose a toast to Rolando and Lorena Herrera, owners of Mi Sueno Winery, who were celebrating 20th years in the fine wine business.

“Thirty-five years ago I started working here as a dishwasher,” said Rolando as he stood to face the crowd, “and today I can truly say my dream has come true.”

The Herrera Family

He proceeded to tell the story of how he had left Mexico in 1982 at age 15 to attend high school in Napa Valley and wash dishes at night. He took on other part-time jobs, including building stonewalls for Warren Winarski at Stag’s Leap Vineyard. One day Warren saw him building walls, and was impressed by his determination, so he decided to offered him a cellar job. Three years later, Rolando was promoted to cellar master, and began taking winemaking classes at Napa Valley College.

After seven years he was offered a job as Assistant Winemaker at Chateau Potelle and then went on to work for Vine Cliff and Paul Hobbs, before starting his own winery with his wife Lorena in 1997. They named it “Mi Sueno,” which means “My Dream” in Spanish.

HerreraPerla

Today they produce seven wines, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Malbec, Syrah and Petit Verdot. To honor their six children, they created a second brand called Herrera, naming each wine in this line after one of their children.  For example there is Herrera Perla Chardonnay and Herrera Rolando Jr. Cabernet Sauvignon, for their children, Perla and Rolando Jr.

The wines have been very well received by wine critics, and were even served at the White House. Recently Rolando and Lorena were honored at the Smithsonian in a dinner celebrating the success of Mexican-American wineries.  They are a living example that the American dream can come true.

For more information, please visit www.misuenowinery.com

Read our reviews of the wines here:

2013 Mi Sueno Chardonnay Los Carneros Napa Valley

 

2010 Mi Sueno Herrara Perla Chardonnay Sonoma Mountain

 

 

 

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