Dear Cellar Angels Readers,
We are the new kids on the block!
I am very excited to announce that we just opened the doors of our tasting room in Downtown Napa. Although we are a new addition to the array of tasting locations in the heart of downtown, it’s been a fourteen-year journey to get to this point. In 2005, we started making two hundred cases of wine thinking that it would be a breeze to sell such a small lot. I could not have been more wrong! It takes three years to produce a cabernet sauvignon wine, and so many things can happen in that timespan.
We didn’t anticipate the 2008 recession. I was completely shocked by how things turned in the wine industry. The first years for us were challenging as we confronted a difficult market. I couldn’t grasp my husband’s persistence to keep the production going amidst the challenges. Compared to our solid farming business, selling wine in such a tough market didn’t give me much encouragement.
Then one day back in 2013, Mario and I poured our wines at a public wine tasting event in San Francisco. A guest approached our table to taste our wines and before long was asking Mario about his story. I quickly realized that our guest was knowledgeable about wine, the Napa Valley wine industry and its people. Mario intuitively reminisced how he arrived to Napa in 1973 with the idea to save money for a grocery store in Mexico City, working for more than sixteen years as the vineyard manager for To Kalon and Opus One vineyards, then later at Stags Leap Wine Cellars before starting his own business. I knew that story by heart and believed that it was all the motivation I needed to drive our wine production. But I took away a new and deeper inspiration from that encounter.
Our guest stepped back a little to get a better picture of Mario and myself—two bottles on the table, our cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc, and the two of us. Then he stepped forward and said, “Wow, Mario, I am very impressed with your wines. How does it feel to have your name on a label after so many years of hard work? To me, this is the American Dream come true.”
After surviving several years in a hard market, I was disillusioned with the idea that hard work alone was the key to success. Mario though, with his authentic candor, smiled and replied, “This is an acknowledgement to the people who have supported my career. Without that help, I wouldn’t be where I am. I would not have my business, and even in my personal life, I would not have the beautiful family that I have.”
His answer shook my core because to him success was so much more than just his name on a label. It was a celebration of gratitude. It became my inspiration and my mission. I would help to spread his appreciation for this land and its people in every bottle of wine.
Co-founder of Mario Bazán Cellars
Visit the newly opened Mario Bazán Cellars Tasting Room in Downtown Napa:
960 Clinton Street, Napa, CA 94558 | 707.927.5564