Mi Sueño Winery Story
My career in the wine industry began in 1985. While still in High School, I took a summer job working for Stags Leap Wine Cellars. Ironically, my first job had little to do with wine; I was hired as a laborer to help build a rock wall. However, during that summer I met the winery's principle, Warren Winiarski, who offered me a job working harvest after school. He gave me a key to the winery, and off to work I went. Little did I know just how significant this job would be for me. After several years, and after a few different positions in the winery, I became Stags Leap's Cellar Master. It is in this role that I learned the basics of the industry and of winemaking. During my ten years at Stags Leap my passion for wine began to grow. From the moment I set foot on the cellar floor I knew that making great wine would be my life and dream. As Stags Leap experienced tremendous growth, so too did I. The education I acquired over those years led me down the path to becoming a winemaker - a role I readily embraced. It was for that reason that, in 1995, I left Stags Leap to become the Assistant Winemaker at Chateau Potelle. At Chateau Potelle I was given the opportunity to participate in all winemaking decisions. It was my introduction into French winemaking techniques, including all-natural fermentation. Here I learned that while there is certainly a tremendous amount of art in winemaking, wine is primarily made by itself, and is a natural process. After three wonderful and highly educational vintages at Chateau Potelle, I was invited to join Vine Cliff Winery as their Winemaker. This was the first time in my career that I was completely responsible for the final product. But here I was able to experiment as I saw fit, and refined my personal style of winemaking.
In 2001 I was invited to join Paul Hobbs Consulting as Director of Winemaking. In this capacity I have had the pleasure of working and building new wine programs for several small, ultra-premium Napa and Sonoma producers.
In 2001, I started Rolando Herrera Consulting, or "RHC." Through RHC I provide winemaking services to small wineries that share my vision of producing quality wines made with great love and passion. RHC's focus is on building new wine programs based on different grape varieties from varying appellations. Each is a new challenge. During this journey, I began producing my own wine - Mi Sueño. Mi Sueño, Spanish for "My Dream," is just that, a culmination of my dreams. Part of that dream is to share it with others. Since 1997 I have been producing a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Los Carneros appellation, and will be releasing a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in 2003. Since my winemaking philosophy is rooted in quality, my production is extremely limited, allowing me to focus on producing the best wine possible. I learned many years ago that wine is made in the vineyard, not in the cellar. With this knowledge I can honor my family's roots as farmers and stay true to their dreams as well as mine.
I am thankful that life has afforded me the opportunity to first learn and then pursue my dream. Thank you for allowing me to share it with you.
"The winemaker's responsibility is to find the naturally occurring characteristics that nature creates - flavors, fragrances, and nuances - and then to showcase the best of these through the careful application of age-old techniques."