Rolando Herrera became the winemaker at Baldacci Family Vineyards in 2003. He came with an amazing resume, a fantastic personality and a passion for creating the best wine possible from the grapes that are grown on our Estate Vineyard. Rolando truly believes that the wines speak for themselves, and tasting with Rolando provides an opportunity to hear some of his internal monologue as he produces the wines for Baldacci Family Vineyards. Here are some of Rolando’s thoughts on his journey as he became the winemaker that he is today:
“A man without a dream is a man without hope. Each day I am humbled that life has afforded me the opportunity to work at and pursue my dream. ‘Mi Sueño’ is Spanish for ‘My Dream’ and the wines that I craft represent a dream come true for my family and me.”
“Michoacan, Mexico is rarely mistaken for Napa Valley, but in hindsight I know now that it would prove to be the foundation for the winemaker and person that I am today. It was in Michoacan, working alongside my grandparents, that I received my early lessons in agriculture. I can still recall hiking with them into the mountains to tend special plots of land and discovering the unique qualities of these mountain-grown fruits and vegetables. Little did I know that this simple lesson in terrior would have a profound impact on my life.
“In 1975, in search of a better way of life, my parents brought our family to the heart of the Napa Valley, St. Helena. Five years later, my father would decide to retire and the entire family moved back to Michoacan. However, my dream of working at a winery had already taken root in my soul, and its constant pull would lead me to return to Napa at the age of 15.”
“My life in the wine business humbly began at the age of 17, not in a winery but instead as a laborer hired to build a stone wall at Stags Leap Wine Cellars. As fate would have it, my efforts did not go unrecognized, and ultimately Warren Winiarski would offer me a job inside the winery. During my tenure at Stags Leap, seven of them as the Cellar Master, my passion for wine would continue to grow and the lessons learned there would pave the way for the next steps of my journey.”