In the 1920’s Prohibition in the United States drove national wine and spirit production and consumption into clandestine and illicit corners. Adolfo didn’t have to be born in that era to experience bootlegging and veiled speakeasies.
Adolfo's family moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in the 80’s; a seaside city famous for its culture, Red Sea diving, and souks filled with endless gold. It also housed large communities of expats employed by Saudi Arabian Airlines, oil companies, and defense contractors. While expats were afforded an extra dose of freedom within their closed compounds, alcohol was strictly banned to everyone within the Kingdom. That was of no deterrence to Adolfo's father. Wine was a necessity for the dinner table, and he would make it himself with the help of his son.
Their source was Greek grape juice that coincidentally was sold in glass flip-top bottles. They would empty the bottles into plastic carboys in one of their bathtubs, toss in some sugar and yeast, and let the juice ferment away.
Later Adolfo and his father would bottle the wine back into the glass flip-top bottles. Adolfo says he makes no claims here for the quality of the wine produced, but he can say that they became a staple at their compound’s many ex-pat parties.
In 1997 Adolfo and his family moved to California. He went on to graduate from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in molecular biology and began a career as a chemist in organic pesticide production. After a few years in the
field, he made the switch into winemaking. Clos du Bois in Geyserville gave Adolfo his 'in' to the wine industry as a laboratory supervisor prior to the 2006 vintage.
From there Adolfo spent four years at Araujo (now known as Eisele Vineyard), with other professional stops along the way at Checkerboard Vineyards on Diamond Mountain with Martha McClellan, Pahlmeyer in St. Helena, until finally ending up at the esteemed Russian River pinot noir house Benovia. Concurrently Adolfo has had, and continues to have, subliminal experiences of traveling to different wine regions worldwide to taste various unique expressions of place.