Alejandro Castillo Llamas
Alex grew up in the fields. As migrant workers, his parents followed the same route each year, travelling with their children and a troop of assorted family members from outside the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco in Mexico all the way to Portland, Oregon and back. Along the way, they would harvest fields, orchards and vineyards – everything from Thompson Seedless and Concord grapes in the Coachella Valley to pears in Fairfield, California to cherries in Oregon and olives in Corning, California. Although only a child, Alex, like many migrant children, worked side by side with his parents before and after school. His early exposure to the cultivation of crops helped to instill a sense of connection to the land.
When Alex’s family finally settled in Napa, his father and many of his uncles took jobs working the vineyards of Napa Valley – ultimately planting and managing the first acres of what would later become the famed Stagecoach Vineyard which they still oversee today. Alex continued to work alongside and learned firsthand the meaning of terroir and the effect of the environment and management practices on winegrape quality.
Driven to take his experience in the fields a step further, Alex began exploring the world of wine and developed a love for fine dining. Working at restaurants such as The French Laundry and Per Se, Alex learned the importance of precision, care and detail and was exposed to some of the great wines of the world. His passion for wine ignited, Alex decided to pursue his own winemaking venture, honoring his heritage by exclusively sourcing grapes from vineyards farmed by his family. In his free time, Alex can be found fishing; hanging out with Chapala, his beautiful Blue Heeler; cooking gourmet meals for his wife, Michelle; and drinking incredible wines!