Two years ago, Cecilia Enriquez, was working in the financial industry and hating it.
“I was a credit manager, selling people high-interest car and credit card loans,” the 25-year-old Boston University grad recalls. “It was something I didn’t believe in.”
Today Enriquez runs Enriquez Estate Wines, located on 33 acres off Old Adobe Road. She's also quite possibly the youngest winery owner in Sonoma County.
“Wine is something you share with people, you sit down with family, friends and you end up meeting people from all over the world,” says Enriquez. “And yes, waking up in a vineyard is gorgeous.”
The Enriquez family, which hails from New Jersey, wound up in Petaluma on a fluke. They were headed to Napa, but took a wrong turn and ended up in Sonoma County. Instead of backtracking, they decided to book a wine tour and fell in love with a vineyard on Petaluma’s Eastside.
“My dad had a sparkle in his eye, I could just tell he liked it, so in 2011 we closed on the property,” says Cecilia.
The winery is open by appointment only, but it’s getting attention at local stores and wine bars. They recently hosted a tasting at La Dolce Vita and is sold at Wilibees.
Because some of the grapes were allocated right away, Enriquez Estates sells three 2009 wines, including Sonoma Coast Tempranillo, a Pinot Noir and something they call “Brisa,” a blend of Sauvignonn Blanc, Muscat and Chardonnay.
The Tempranillo has been described as “a mouthful of black cherry fruit,” sells for $32, while the Pinot has hints of cherry, rose, orange rind and boasts a sweet, cherry flavor. It sells for $38.
Enriquez admits that she is still learning the wine business and relying on contacts in the industry to understand everything from pH balances to pricing.
“I’m trying to absorb everything and people have been more than helpful,” she says. “That’s the difference between here and the East Coast.”
She’s also working on opening a tasting room in the near future.
“I want to keep the brand exclusive and build a wine club, a place where people know each other and can grow together over the years.”
Enriquez Estate Winery is located at 3062 Old Adobe Road. (707) 347-9719. Tastings are by appointment only.