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Cecilia Enriquez

Cecilia Enriquez

Winemaker at Enriquez Estate Wines

Russian River, California (Sonoma)

Number of Years in the Wine Business: 6

 

Enriquez Estate Wines

Cecilia grew up in New Jersey, with no wine background whatsoever. All that changed when her family visited California in late 2009 and fell in love with wine country. Upon losing her job at Wells Fargo during the recession, she decided to throw caution to the wind and move to California, permanently, to start a wine brand in her family’s name. Attaching herself to anyone that would teach her, she quickly learned the craft and began winning awards for her wines. Now on her ninth vintage, Cecilia has honed her skills and begun experimenting with varietals not usually found in the Russian River area, and winemaking practices not commonly implemented in the US. She is all about pushing the envelope and feels that her unique entry into winemaking empowers her to think outside the box.

I love my job because:

Two days are never the same. Each wine is unique and you never know where the wine and day will take you, who you’ll meet and what wine you’ll come across.

I got the passion to become a winemaker from:

Tasting well-made wines/other winemakers

My favorite wine is:

I don’t have a favorite. I’d say a well-made wine. I tend to enjoy cooler climate Pinots & Syrahs, Tempranillos, cab francs, sangioveses, cabs, old bordeauxs, and bubbles. My Tempranillo, Tempranillo Rose, Late Harvest Pinot Noir, Sparkling Brut, and Pinot Noirs are among my favorites as well.

Favorite wine to wind down with:

Any of the above.

If I could drink it with anyone I would drink it with, where and why:

Family, friends, wine club members, wine friends, future friends who haven’t tasted my wine yet on our beautiful estate overlooking endless vineyard views so we can relax and enjoy the good wine & company.

You'd be surprised to know that:

I have no wine background whatsoever and didn’t actually like wine until our first trip in 2009 where we ended up in Sonoma County after bypassing Napa. A year and a half later, I found myself learning how to farm & make wine. I rely heavily on my palette.

My favorite vintage is and why:

2009 since it was my first vintage. It set the standards for future vintages.

What I'm excited about this year’s vintage is:

A new wine! My first Russian River Pinot Noir from our estate vineyard.

One thing I hope to accomplish in my life is / my biggest accomplishment is:

Knowing nothing about farming, producing wine and its industry, learning as much as I could as fast as I could and still being in business 6 years later.

During harvest, a day in my life is like:

All nighters/barely any sleep. Our picks start at midnight or shortly after. Everything is handpicked without a tractor so depending on the vineyard it varies on how long it takes. Once we’re done, I’m working on transporting and processing the grapes while also responding to emails & calls on my phone. I coordinate tastings for my tasting room, wine club members and clients, our in-house wine tour company, and our vacation rental guests. Since it’s also the height of the tourist season, we’re usually entertaining our out of town guests with dinner & drinks too.

Favorite/Least cooperative grape to work with is:

Pinot Noir – both for favorite & least cooperative.

Biggest obstacle I’ve ever experienced in wine-making:

Learning to trust my instincts and palette and not second guess myself.

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