Behind the Vines: Meet Amelia Morán Ceja, President & Founder
Her philosophy: Amelia Morán Ceja reveals her conviction that the diligent pursuit of a passion is key to success. She notes, “My grandmother told me, whatever you do, if you love it and learn everything you can about it, you will always be successful.”
Amelia’s love affair with food started in Las Flores, Jalisco, Mexico, where she began cooking on her own at the age of eight in the farm kitchen of a strong maternal grandmother. “Mamá Chepa” taught Amelia to cook with fresh, home grown ingredients. When Amelia joined her father, Felipe Morán, in Rutherford in 1967, Amelia threw herself into her new world. On her first weekend in the Napa Valley, Amelia was in the vineyard, harvesting with a knife that seemed half the size of the petite 12-year old.
Along with her key roles at Ceja Vineyards, some of her other passions include social justice causes and giving back to the community. She's the recipient of the 2016 Dolores Huerta Farmworker Justice Award and she's honored to share her story as the Keynote Speaker at the upcoming MLK Monday Community Celebration. Join her for a community gathering celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King while continuing his legacy through a day of action and compassion.
MLK Monday Community Celebration Event - Everyone is Welcome!
When: Monday, January 16th, 2017
Where: St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
Address: 960 Caymus St, Napa Ca 94559
Photo by Sarah Deragon
Behind The Vines: Meet Armando Ceja, Winemaker
His philosophy: “Making wine is more like making preserves than jam,” he says; he favors preserving bright fruit over highly-extracted flavors and high alcohol because it creates wines that stay balanced, youthful and vibrant.
Armando made his first wine when he was 17 years old. He jumped at the offer of a free lot of Duckhorn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon grapes turning it into his first vintage. After earning an associate degree in chemistry, he graduated in 1985 from UC Davis with a BS in Enology. From there, he worked at Kenwood Vineyards in both winemaking and vineyard management before joining the management team at the Christian Brothers winery on Mt. Veeder. His experience as a viticulturist and enologist continued to thrive from there.
Balance and perspective is key for him as a winemaker. “I know my roots,” says Armando. “I enjoy being with my crew and I enjoy being with other winemakers. I am who I am. My job is to ensure that the fermentation is going clean and that the things that make good wine are in place. The biggest compliment is when someone says, ‘I had a glass of your wine. I really enjoyed it.'