Here’s a great success story about five families that started working out in the farm fields and eventually went on to own their own wineries. The Washington Post interviewed the following wineries: Robledo Family Winery, Ceja Vineyards, Gustavo Wine, Mi Sueño Winery, and Maldonado Vineyards. Each of these families shared some similar experiences, yet had some distinctions that made their stories unique. The five families were featured last week by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History during its annual winemaker’s fundraising dinner. Amelia Morán Ceja, a former farmworker and co-founder of Ceja Vineyards, stated:
People understood that in order to live a life of dignity, they needed the support of someone to advocate for them. Even today, the farmworkers are invisible, and we need to advocate for them. Through our wines we are paying homage to the true artists of wine — the workers.
Farmworkers are usually overlooked, even though they are the one of the most important parts about farming.
Steve Velasquez, who researches Mexican American winemakers for the museum’s American Food History Project, stated:
Their story is the journey. A journey from Mexico to the U.S. to work in agriculture, from a handful of families to a thriving community of Mexican Americans, from vineyard workers to winery owners. . . . These families represent Mexican Americans who once just supported an industry but now help shape it.
The story of these families shows that hard work and determination can make your dreams a reality.