We came to grow grapes. Now we own wineries.
We fulfill our mission by supporting Mexican-American immigrants and their wines, investing in Latino-led organizations, and increasing access to education, healthcare, and self-sufficiency for all Latinos.
Vintners + Philanthropy + Community
Every MAVA Winery Has It's Own History
Mexican-American workers have played a huge role in the rise of the multibillion-dollar wine business in the U.S., starting back in the 1940's and 50's with the braceros who came to work the fields. Subsequent generations have worked their way up, holding positions as vineyard managers, cellar masters, and, in a few cases, winery owners.
By 2004, Mexican-Americans made up as much as 98 percent of the field workers in Napa, The New York Times reports.
Today, MAVA has 16 members and takes an active role in raising awareness of Hispanic presence in the industry as well as raising scholarship money to encourage and support future generations.
The Idea of MAVA
It wasn’t until 2010 that the idea of a Mexican-American Vintner's Association took shape, something that happened, as fate would have it, when several Napa Valley and Sonoma vintners came to pour their wines at the Michoacán State Fair in Mexico at the invitation of the Governor of Michoacán, and at the suggestion of Rolando Herrera of Mi Sueño Winery. Rolando had been invited personally by the Governor and suggested to the Governor that the invitation be extended to other Mexican wine producers from California.
The Realization of MAVA
The Michoacán State Fair in Mexico forever changed the history of Mexican-American vintners. Through common Mexican heritage, strong bonds developed, and ideas exchanged amongst the Latino vintners at that 2010 State Fair Colonial Era Hotel in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico - the vintners were convinced they should form an organization that would promote their wines and support future generations through scholarships and philanthropy.
The Need for MAVA
The vintners recognized the need for an association that could more easily take advantage of the member’s common heritage and histories for all of the members benefit equally. The vintners also acknowledged that such an association would also have an obligation to highlight the sacrifice and contributions to the wine industry made by the farmworkers from which most of the vintners have come. The vintners agreed that is was no longer a matter of “if” they should form an organization but “WHEN” one should be formed.
Shortly after their 2010 State Fair trip to Mexico, Rolando organized a meeting of the ten vintners that had been present at the meeting in Morelia to discuss their collective experience and how they might be able to harness the momentum that was generated. The vintners felt the collective responsibility to form an organization that would not only serve as a marketing vehicle, but a source of motivation and support for future generations of aspiring Mexican-American winemakers and winery professionals. Over the course of several months and many meetings those ten vintners became the founding members of the Mexican-American Vintner's Association.
2018: MAVA's 8th Anniversary
Today the American dream lives strong in the hearts of Mexican-American winemakers in California, and MAVA continues to pioneer a better tomorrow.
With no staff, a minimal budget, and members busy with their own businesses, MAVA now accepts winery members from anywhere - not just Napa Valley and Sonoma.
Over the past eight years, MAVA has granted approximately $50,000 in college scholarships for underserved youth, and the Annual Harvest Festival has been established as a premier charity fundraiser for Mexican-Americans in Napa Valley.
MAVA strives to promote wines produced by Mexican-American vintners, to advocate quality standards for our members, to support and raise awareness of the contributions of Latinos in the wine industry, and to help the underserved the Latino community gain access to health, education, and freedom for all.
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“From its inception we felt that we owe it to our community, our heritage, and most importantly, to our ancestors whose strong work ethic and sacrifices laid the foundation for our own success. Through our collective and united efforts we will strive to nurture and support future generations of Latino growers, vintners and executives.”
- Rolando Herrera,
Founder of Mexican-American Vintner's Association & Founder of Mi Sueño Winery