Just as women come in all shapes and sizes, the women featured in the series each inspire in their own ways. From a young entrepreneur paving her own path in the wine industry to a teacher making a difference in lives of less fortunate children. The women featured in this series will inspire you to do something.
Meet Cecilia Enriquez
Owner of Enriquez Estate Wines, Cecilia is creating her own path in the wine industry. Her story is nothing short of remarkable and one to follow. After graduating from college, she found herself in the finance industry and wasn’t feeling all too passionate or satisfied. I had the pleasure of having a sit down and lucky me, a wine tasting, with Cecilia at her vineyard. I hope you are inspired to do something after reading about her story.
As a New Jersey native, Cecilia gave up everything on the East Coast to begin a new life and wine label in Petaluma, CA. Her family is the most important thing to her and leaving them behind to start this new venture has been tough, but she admits that the hardest thing she has dealt with in her move to the West Coast has been the culture shock. “Things move a lot slower here. People aren’t as blunt nor forthcoming.” While she still tries to manage her speed on the 65MPH roads, she has managed to build great momentum with her wines. In an industry that is mainly dominated by middle aged men, Cecilia is experimenting with her grapes producing wines that aren’t typical for the region. When I visited her, I had the pleasure of tasting a number of her wines, including a Tempranillo Rose and a soon-to-be released Late Harvest Pinot Noir. Both are excellent and not necessarily typical varietals of the region. That’s exactly what makes Cecilia unique – she thinks outside the box and does the unexpected.
Aside from the fact that she’s under 30 and somewhat of a scientific rebel producing unorthodox wines, she prides her hard work and determination on the foundation of family. Her father has instilled in Cecilia the ability to pursue her dreams while allowing her family to keep her grounded. “My dad encouraged and challenged me a lot before taking on this winery. He told me, ‘If you’re serious, make a business plan.’ Little did I know that he was serious and a year and a half later, we were moving in.”
That isn’t all that she’s learned from her father, they share a thirst for knowledge. “My dad went out and bought numerous books about producing wine. That’s not really my style, but I do attach myself to people and ask a ton of questions.” That drive has landed her on the board of the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance, where she helps advocate for the redistricting of the Sonoma Coast AVA (American Viticulture Area), naming the Petaluma Gap as a recognized AVA. “As a wine producer in Petaluma, all of my bottles say ‘Sonoma Coast’. Anyone purchasing my wine somewhere other than through my wine club or at the tasting room, wouldn’t know we grew our grapes in Petaluma. The Petaluma Gap is a unique wind tunnel that produces great grapes. Wine growers in this region want to be recognized and that’s what we do at the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance.”
Cecilia’s story is inspiring. When I asked her what advice she would have for someone looking to making a shift she said, “Go for it and don’t be afraid. When I first moved out here, I knew no one and was lonely at times but I kept my head down and learned everything I could about wine growing. Before I knew it, the fear and loneliness had subsided and I was living my dream.”
While everyone’s story and dream is different, there is always something we can learn from each other. From Cecilia Enriquez I learned that if you really want something, you just have to go get it.