I take incredible pride in being one of only a few queer, Latinx, and female winemakers. I strive to be ever evolving as a person and as a producer, and there have been so many people and experiences that have guided me to where I am today. The wisdoms I’ve gained have an undeniable influence in my approach to winemaking.
I grew up traveling between my home in Miami and the family farm in Campamento, Colombia. We grew mainly coffee, but also cotton, bananas and cattle. I think it was here that I first learned to recognize and respect the connection between land, culture, and history.
I was an artsy kid with a short attention span, but could always lose myself in painting and drawing. I admired the classic masters: DaVinci, Michelangelo, and Velazquez, and attended college at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in order to learn in a school that was modeled after Academie des Beaux-Arts in France. I discovered again the beautiful relationship between place, culture, and history, expressed this time through art instead of soil.
While at college, I worked in restaurants. My first fine dining job was at Morimoto and they expected their servers to have a decent amount of wine knowledge. As I learned about wine for the first time, it quickly became evident that here, again, was that divine connection between a place, its people and history. It was a new kind of art—a delicious one at that—and I knew I had found my calling. It wasn’t long before I was learning all I could and fully immersed myself in the world of wine. I moved to New York City in 2014 and began studying to become a sommelier while working at restaurants with strong wine programs like The Dutch.
In 2014 I experienced a harvest through New York Wine and Grape Foundation’s Harvest House program. I was in the vineyard for the first time and I felt my present connect with my past: the grapes, the coffee farm in Colombia, fine art, the wine—and the utmost reverence I had for the same hard work, passion, and technique that went into each of these things. I knew my winemaking journey had just begun, and there was much yet I was suddenly eager to learn.
I worked full harvests in California at Ryme Cellars in 2015 and Bedrock Wine Co. in 2016. In 2017 I moved to the Bay Area and worked at iconic Delfina where I fell in love with Italian wines as I focused once again on learning to run wine programs. In 2019 I helped open Che Fico Alimentari and Dear Inga, featuring natural Italian and natural Eastern European wines, respectively. As the pandemic boomed in 2020, I found myself, like so many others, evaluating what was most important. Creating wine programs was nice, but as I looked deeper, I knew I wanted to be a winemaker.
In 2021 I joined the flagship Two Eighty Project apprenticeship program in partnership with Steve Matthiason and UC Davis. This six month, hands-on vineyard program is open to all, but focuses on providing resources, experience, and opportunities to marginalized communities which are often excluded from the wine industry. It was here that I got the opportunity to work with Les Lunes Wines, and I began working in their vineyards and winery year round.
In August of 2021, Ruby Blanca Wines pressed its first vintage. Looking back from where I am now, I can see that my path has always led here.
I believe in the undeniable connection between our past, present and future. As modern winemakers, it’s our responsibility to write tomorrow’s history with the utmost respect towards the land, knowledge, and cultures we are surrounded with.
I believe in a holistic approach to winemaking. For me, it’s not enough to just buy grapes and make wines, but essential to also work in the vineyards and understand how to tend the land, learn the wisdoms of historical winemaking families and vignerons, and use this knowledge to continue to innovate and develop a sustainable and balanced future for our vineyards and society.
I believe in making wines that are playful, spirited, and speak to the place where they are grown. Wines should be accessible to everyone and spark joy with tasty flavors and fun winemaking techniques. Ruby Blanca Wines are full of heart, character, and a sense of purpose, and I am honored to be able to share them with you.