Growing up in Colombia, South America, near his family’s cattle and dairy operations, Victor Alvarez learned to appreciate farming skills as well as the pastoral beauty of the land. Although he pursued a successful medical career, Victor maintained his love of agriculture by establishing Miraflores Winery in 2003.
Victor is recently retired pathologist in Arizona, but often spends his time with his daughters in San Diego and comes to visit Miraflores often. While the precision demanded of his medical specialty has influenced the winery’s focus on quality from grape to glass, Victor credits his winemaking team for its award-winning vintages.
Victor says, “Enjoy Miraflores wines in good health.”
Fernando grew up in Morelos, Mexico, where he studied at the Zacatep Institute of Technology. But it wasn’t until he started working in the Sierra Foothills that he developed a passion for wine. While working in the vineyards, he learned one of his most important wine-making lessons: that, as his mentor Marco Cappelli says, “good grapes make good wines.”
Day by day he has learned many things in the industry of wine, and one of the most important things is: No matter how much someone learns every day or year after year, we always learn something new with every challenge and obstacle on the way. The most important thing is to overcome those challenges for a better crafting of wines.
Marco Cappelli is the consulting winemaker and was previously the long-time winemaker at Miraflores. Marco has had a passion for wine from his early days in college, and continues to develop and perfect his winemaking talents on a daily basis.
With formal training at U.C. Davis, Marco acquired a Bachelors degree in Enology and set off for Europe for more practical training. Marco spent the next year in Italy, followed by six months in France learning the magic of winemaking. While his formal education at UC Davis had given Marco a solid theoretical foundation in winemaking, Europe helped refine his palate and gave him a deeper understanding of what wine is and how to enjoy it. While in Italy, Marco learned that wine is food, as important a part of the daily meal as bread and pasta. France taught him to recognize how soil, climate and human factors influence the character and personality of wine.
After returning to the US, Marco decided to embark on a winemaking career in Napa Valley. He landed his first job at Saintsbury Winery in Carneros as a cellar worker and soon had the good fortune to meet and become friends with Andre Tchelistcheff. It was Andre who, one year later, introduced him to Clarke Swanson, who later hired Marco to make wines for Swanson Winery, where he worked for 17 years.
Marco now lives in the Fair Play region of El Dorado County with his wife, daughter, and son, where he operates a small production vineyard selling Zinfandel and Syrah fruit to local wineries. Marco also serves as a consultant wine maker for several wineries in the region. Miraflores continues to be proud and honored to work with him.
General Manager & Sommelier
Ashlee was born and raised in Santa Rosa, CA; the heart of the Sonoma County wine country. Exploring unique and unusual flavors in food, wine, and new places was something she always had a passion for. With the belief that wine truly has a “soul”, she realized she wanted to cultivate a career using this passion. She attended the French Culinary Institute in Campbell, CA. where she studied under Master Sommelier, Erik Entriken before obtaining her Sommelier Level 2 Certification. She has worked in several areas of the wine industry since 2011, including operating as the wine director and Sommelier for Michelin-star rated restaurant, Chez TJ, in Mountain View, CA. along with working in sales and distribution throughout the South Bay Area.
Ashlee has been with Miraflores Winery since 2015. Before she became the General Manager, she served as the winery’s in-house Sommelier for the Summer PAIRINGS Food + Wine events and conducted library wine tastings of Miraflores’s renowned Syrahs, Petite Sirahs, and Zinfandels.