Silicon Valley Latino’s Magazine Pick-up Party hosted by Mezlan

Silicon Valley Latino's Magazine Pick-up Party hosted by Mezlan

We would like to thank all the SVL List Honorees and Cultura Ambassadors that came out to our Pick-up Party. We also want to thank our host Mezlan and Perezidential Homes for sponsor the wine tasting by Vino Latino. We look forward to seeing more of our SVL List Honorees and Cultura Ambassadors at the next Pick-up Party, stay tuned.

Jorge Titinger & Tony Quintero
Jorge Titinger & Tony Quintero
Silicon Valley Latino's Magazine Pick-up Party
Silicon Valley Latino's Magazine Pick-up Party
Pepe Gomez, Alex Ontiveros & Jorge Escobar
Pepe Gomez, Alex Ontiveros & Jorge Escobar
Sal Pizarro & Darcie Green
Sal Pizarro & Darcie Green
Raul Peralez, Alex Ontiveros & Frank Biehl
Raul Peralez, Alex Ontiveros & Frank Biehl
Lilia Ledezma
Lilia Ledezma
Adam Mendoza
Adam Mendoza
Raul Peralez & Alex Ontiveros
Raul Peralez & Alex Ontiveros
 Josef Castañeda-Liles
Josef Castañeda-Liles

We would like to thank all the SVL List Honorees and Cultura Ambassadors that came out to our Pick-up Party. We also want to thank our host Mezlan and Perezidential Homes for sponsoring the wine tasting by Vino Latino. We look forward to seeing more of our SVL List Honorees and Cultura Ambassadors at the next Pick-up Party, stay tuned.

Supernova Foundation Hosts Wine Tasting Event, Raises Money for Survivors of Domestic Violence

 

When you think of philanthropic events in the Bay Area the places that usually come to mind are San Francisco or Palo Alto. And Morgan Hill? Not exactly. Yet, on a warm September afternoon people gathered in this town just south of San Jose to support the efforts of The Supernova Foundation. Organizers of the event had transformed a backyard of a small residence into a wine tasting room to raise funds for victims of domestic abuse. While guests attended to drink fine wine provided by Vino Latino USA, they were also there to give back to their community.

“It’s good to give back at any stage of your life and career,” says Adrian Espinosa who is one of the co-founders for The Supernova Foundation. When he is not working at a hospital or studying to become a nurse practitioner, you can find him planning or organizing events such as this one for his foundation.

Vino W Amigos 2Adrian started The Supernova Foundation almost seven years ago along with his sister, Erica, when he was about to turn thirty. He conceived the idea at the moment when he was trying to decide what to do for his birthday party. “It was a turning point for me,” Adrian says. According to Adrian, the passing of another calendar year made him reflect and think to himself, “I’m here, I’m grateful, and I’m surrounded by such supportive friends and family, so I am going to do something meaningful in my life and as a community.”

Instead of throwing himself a typical birthday party that December, Adrian had decided to use the month’s holiday spirit to organize his first charity event. He told his friends not to bring birthday gifts or bottles of alcohol; instead, they were instructed to bring toys for children staying at two local women’s shelters in Santa Clara County. Over a hundred people showed up with toys in hand. Two days before Christmas, these toys were delivered to the shelter and The Supernova Foundation was born.

Fast-forward seven years later to the wine tasting event in Morgan Hill. A group of well-dressed guests sit on white picnic table chairs and listen closely to the Vino Latino duo Ramon & Becky Sandoval speak about Cabernets and Moscatos. They nibble on Mexican wedding cookies as they drink from the Sandoval’s custom blend. The neighbors’ regional Mexican music can be heard in the background, providing a nice soundtrack to the wine tasting. This was a charity event that not only raised money for Supernova’s “Modesta’s Spirit and Courage Scholarship Fund” but that also brought different cultures together.

In addition to blending Mexican culture with philanthropic values, Supernova also brings together friends and family who have dedicated their time and energy to the foundation. The event, for instance, was hosted at the home of Natalia Galvan, a good friend of Adrian’s and a board member. Natalia proved instrumental in connecting Supernova with the women’s shelters in Santa Clara County since she used to work there before she became a probation officer. When asked what that was like, Natalia stated, “working with survivors was one of the most gratifying experiences.”

Vino W AmigosNow Natalia works with the families as a Supernova committee member, which also includes Claudia Mendivil, Oralia Espinoza, Mary Diaz and Erica Espinosa. The committee plans the annual holiday gifting party, which involves picking age appropriate gifts for each child. The team of volunteers also prepare a gift bag of toiletries for the mothers. Natalia describes the event as a joyous family affair since Adrian’s mom bakes cookies while his “dad always brings the piano and sings with the kids.” She adds, “It’s very heart-warming because these little kids will come up to you and hug you.”

Supernova’s charity efforts have received more publicity with the help of Mary Diaz, an on air radio personality for 99.7 NOW and a VJ for the California Music Channel, who is also a friend of Adrian and a member of the board. She met Adrian while she was taking song requests during a night shift for Wild 94.9. He was a student at San Jose State at the time and he would often call late to request songs during his long study sessions. Eventually Adrian and Mary “hit it off” and “became quick friends and like family.”

Once Mary started publicizing Supernova’s events on the California Music Channel, she could tell that the mission to raise awareness about domestic abuse struck a chord with her audience. While some of them wanted to help Supernova’s cause by attending events, others wanted to share with her their personal experience with domestic abuse. “Listeners tell me their stories,” Mary says, “there are so many times that people need the help but don’t really speak up.”

“Growing up, I realized there was a stigma that made it difficult for people to ask for help. Whether it was in your own home or someone else who you knew, it wasn’t an easy topic to bring up, which surely made it harder for some people to reach out for help,” she says. Indeed, according to a 2007 study by E.M. Ingram, Latinas do not seek shelters as much as women from other ethnic groups. Considering that speaking about domestic abuse is an issue that is especially taboo in the Latino community for multiple historical and cultural reasons, organizations such as Supernova allow for these conversations to happen publicly.

Vino W Amigos 6

Adrian knows that there are a lot of organizations out there providing resources to victims of domestic violence. However, he created Supernova because he wanted to create an intimate event for the kids, along with the support of his family, friends, community, and supportive committee. “We all work, have families, but we make the time to give back,” says Adrian as he points to the guests surrounding him.

Where did Adrian get this philanthropic spirit, I had to ask before the event ended.

“My parents were farmworkers and ever since I was little I was taught to appreciate what I had, to work hard, and to open our home to everyone.” Although his parents weren’t wealthy, says Adrian, his family was nonetheless “rich in cultura, rich in tradition, and rich in love.”

“We all have the capacity to give back to the community,” he adds, “hey, if I did it you can do it too.”

The annual Supernova gift drive event called “Supernova: Celebrating Life and Giving Back to the Community” is soon approaching on Dec. 6th at the Los Lagos Golf Course in San Jose. Prospective attendees or gift-givers should check out their website for more information at likeasupernova.com. It will most likely be another great birthday for the foundation and its co-founder.

Fausta Franco of Fausta Family Vineyards

 

It’s exciting to see more and more Latinas jumping into winemaking.  Women long ago proved that they belong on the top rung of winemaking with the likes of Heidi Barrett, Merry Edwards, and Helen Turley.  They broke down barriers and proved that a woman can do the hard labor and yet use their gentle palates and touch to make wine that appeals to a wide audience.  We now have more and more Latinas joining the ranks and one of our personal favorites is Fausta Franco.

Fausta Family Vineyards

Fausta grew up in Sonoma in a family immersed in the wine industry with uncles who worked in the vineyards.  Now, with help of her very loving and supportive husband, she owns her own vineyard.  We are so proud of Fausta and all her accomplishments.  Fausta’s brand is Fausta Family Vineyards a small boutique winery in the heart of Sonoma Valley.

 

 

SVL: Did you grow up with wine in the house?

Fausta:  Yes I grew up with wine in our home. We would mostly collect bottles of wine and open one up on special occasions.

 

SVL: When did you know you wanted to be a winemaker?

Fausta: In the late 90’s when I started noticing that there were female wine makers in the industry. It gave me motivation to pursue my dream.

 

SVL: What are some challenges you face as a Latina winemaker?

FAUSTA: The major challenge I have faced as a latina winemaker is starting from the bottom financially and working my way to the top and getting my brand recognized and have it grow each day.

 

(Incidentally, her inaugural release reserve cab just earned a 90+ score from wine enthusiast.  Talk about brand recognition!!)

 

SVL: Where did you learn to make wine?

FAUSTA: With the help of my uncle and the classes that I took at Napa Junior College

 

SVL: You make cab, moscato, and viognier.  What is a varietal you enjoy that you do not make?

FAUSTA: I enjoy a Merlot and I don’t make it because I have not found a small lot that can sell me their grapes.

 

SVL: Viognier is not a common wine, why did you decide to make it?

FAUSTA: When we were making our portfolio of the different variety of wines we wanted to make, it was between Viognier and Chardonnay. We had both varietals on hand so I decided for Viognier. Just like a Chardonnay the Viognier has the potential to produce a full-bodied wine.  So I decided to experiment with the grape where I could make a different wine that has more natural aromatics.

 

SVL: What is your favorite food and wine pairing?

FAUSTA: My favorite food paring is our Cabernet Sauvignon with lasagna that I make from scratch. Also our Viognier is wonderfully paired with grilled chicken and our garlic spicy shrimp.

 

SVL: When you aren’t making wine, running after kids, and taking care of your vineyard, what do you do for fun?

FAUSTA: What I do for fun is watch mystery or suspense movies and try to travel with the family as the children are growing really fast each day.

If you are looking at getting out to visit some or all of the Latino owned wineries remember to get in touch with Ramon or Becky  at Vino Latino

 

Cecilia Enriquez – Enriquez Family Estates

 

We begin our Vino Latino wine series which will consist of interviewing Latin@ Winery Owners/Wine Makers over the next few weeks.  Thank you to Becky Tyner – Sandoval of Vino Latino for taking on this project for SVL.

Featured Winery: Enriquez Family Estates

Location: Petaluma, California (Sonoma County)

Varietals: Pinot, Tempranillo, And White Blend

 

At first glance you would probably not guess that Cecilia Enriquez is the CEO of her family’s vineyard and winery.  It’s not because she’s a woman, or because she’s a Latina, or because she’s about 5 feet tall, but it’s because she’s only 26, but she looks about 18.   As is with most things in life, what you see is not what you get.  Inside that cute little frame is a powerhouse full of determination, desire to learn, and success!

Cecilia Enriquez

Cecilia’s family bought the winery and vineyard in 2011 after the families visit to Sonoma.  While wine tasting Cecilia jokingly said to her father, “You should buy a winery and let me run it.”  A year later, her father did exactly that.  Cecilia’s reaction was, “I was joking!” But it’s obvious her parents knew more about her ability to succeed than she did, so they continued with the purchase and sent their young daughter to California to learn the wine business.  Since then Cecilia has learned to negotiate the sale of her grapes, pick barrels, choose blends, and come up with her own ideas on winemaking.  With each vintage, the Enriquez brand continues to improve and grow along with its young CEO.

 

SVL: I’m sure the wine business keeps you very busy, but when you have it, what do you do in your spare time?

Cecilia: Not work! Ha-ha.  I find a lot of joy in playing with my puppies, Riley and Tyler.  I also enjoy traveling, including going to Mexico as much as possible to visit family.  I’m also active in the local 20/30 club that is a lot of fun.

SVL:  Your mom and dad are from Mexico.  Where in Mexico are they from?

Cecilia: My mom is from Culiacan, Sinaloa, and my dad is from Guadalajara, Jalisco.

SVL: I know your parents are back east in New Jersey.  When you go home which of your mom’s dishes do you look forward to the most?

Cecilia: I love my mom’s tacos dorados and her chilaquiles are really yummy too.

SVL:  Did you grow up with wine in your home?

Cecilia: Yes, my parents love California Pinots and often had them at our dinner table.

SVL: You produce Pinot, Tempranillo and a white blend, so we know you enjoy those varietals.  What is your favorite varietal that you don’t produce?

Cecilia: I love Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese.

SVL: What wine region would you like to visit?

Cecilia: I would love to go to Champagne because not only do I love sparkling wines, but I also have a friend who lives there and it would be wonderful to see them!

SVL: Which of your wines is your favorite?

Cecilia: I don’t have a favorite.  I love them all.  But I’m most proud of my rose` of Tempranillo because it’s unusual.  There isn’t a lot of tempranillo produced in the USA and to have one made as a rose` is even more uncommon.

SVL: What would you pair with the Rose` of Tempranillo?

Cecilia: A hot day, flip-flops, and a pool.

SVL: Thank you so much Cecilia for sharing with Silicon Valley Latino.  We wish you continued success and happiness.

Cecilia: You are so welcome!  Let’s eat!

 

 

Vino Latino featured as promoters of Latino Wine Makers & Wineries

 

We are very proud to highlight Vino Latino in celebrating the success that they have built up over the past few years in promoting Latino Wineries & Latino Wine makers and the history that Latinos bring to the industry.  Becky and Ramon Sandoval have successfully shared these wonderful wines via their tours and private in home Latino wine tastings.

Watch the news cast that they were hightlighted in this week.

Salud!