Macario Montoya & Griselda Ceja Montoya – Campesino Cellars


This weeks Winery highlight takes us to Campesino Cellars with Macario and Griselda:

Macario Montoya

Griselda (Ceja) Montoya

Winery: Campesino Cellars

Varietals: Rhone, Rhone blends, and Pinot Noir

They always say that you never appreciate what you have in your own backyard until you leave it and that’s certainly true for Griselda Ceja, daughter of vineyard icon, Pablo Ceja, sister of Pedro and Armando Ceja who own Ceja winery.  She left Napa Valley for San Francisco to discover new adventures in the big city.   But what she ended up discovering was Macario Montoya.

Macario Montoya was born in Vacaville.  He ended up in San Francisco to work in finance.  But along the way he ended up meeting his soul mate, Griselda Ceja.  Their journeys brought them half way across the world and ultimately back to Napa to start their own winery, Campesino.

SVL: What got you guys interested in Wine?

Macario: I fell in Love with Pinot.

SVL: Did you guys grow up with wine in the home?

Griselda: I’ve always had a relationship with wine, obviously.  But truly fell in love with wine in the south of France.  There I drank wine from 10 minutes after waking up to 10 minutes before going to bed.

Macario: I grew up in Vacaville.  My parents loved taking guests to Napa Valley wine tastings.  They would drag me along with them.  It was so boring.  I hated wine and I hated Napa!

But when I lived in the city I saw a flyer for a wine sensory evaluation course.  I thought it would be a great place to meet girls so I signed up.  I didn’t meet a girl but I met wine.

After I met Griselda we decided to go to France together.  I always say that’s where I fell in love with wine and that’s where I fell in love with her.

SVL: How did you guys meet?

MM and GC: We met on a blind date.

SVL: Macario how did you get started making wine?

Macario: I started by helping Griselda’s family.  But then I happened to hear the Peña was looking for some help so I reached out to them.  I’ve been there ever since and am now the assistant winemaker.

SVL: You guys have two children.  I know you can never choose a favorite and I’m sure it’s the same way with your wines.  So can you share with me your favorite pairings?

Griselda:  I love the Alina (white Rhone blend) for every single day.  I love the rose` to spike my bubbly.  I love to pair them with anything spicy.  If it makes me cry, I’m all about it.

SVL: Macario, which wine are you most proud to make?

Macario: I’m most proud of the Syrah.  I love the vineyard from where it’s sourced because it’s the most consistent.  We have a history together.  It was the first wine I made and the first one to receive press.  It’s a personal challenge to rise to the standard of the original wine year after year.


Check out Campesino Cellars for yourselves at where you can learn more about the passion that Macario and Griselda have for wine and people.