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Mom Knows Best

May 9, 2017

With Mother’s Day this Sunday, we celebrate a few of the many hard-working moms of Paso Wine Country.

Adrienne Ferrara, CLESI Wines, Jordan Fiorentini, Epoch Estate Wines, Monica Villicana, Villicana Winery open up about the joys of working and raising a family in Paso Robles Wine Country.

Adrienne Ferrara, CLESI Wines

WINERY OWNER and mom to Three (5, 3, and 1)

How do you juggle motherhood and wine demands, especially during harvest? I’m pretty awesome at opening a bottle of wine with one hand while holding a toddler with the other! And, more seriously, we have great support from family and friends.

People come to Paso Robles Wine Country for vacation. What is your ideal vacation? Definitely a family ski trip.  This was the first year that we skipped our family ski week since long before we had kids.  We missed this great snow year to focus on our new winery in Templeton. Easy choice, but we will be excited to get the kids to the snow next season.

What do you love about your job? There is so much.  Chris and I get to make wine, with our family close. Our kids get to see us work hard and to be part of the experience. Having grown up in a city, I love being in the country.  I love meeting new people and building friendships that started with wine. I love making dinner with my husband and kids using veggies and herbs grown in the yard.  I imagine our life is a bit of a throwback to Chris’ Italian ancestors who inspired our business. I love that.

Have you ever been embarrassed by your child at the winery, tasting room, and/or industry function/event? Our days are filled with winery adventure.  One recent event comes to mind; my youngest, Gio, loves the water valves all over the winery.  The valves shoot water straight out from 2 feet off the ground.  A couple of weekends ago, Gio sprayed a lady touring the cellar.  It is a lot of water quickly.  She was drenched from the knees down.  Thankfully, she thought he was cute. Now, we cap the water valves.

I’ve come to realize that my job… and my life have become so intertwined.  Customers come in the tasting room and ask about our kids.  They comment on how big they are and recall stories about me wearing Anna in the front-pack during pickup parties or Joseph running under the tasting bar before he got too tall.  Chris and I had three harvest babies, so we get sentimental about wines harvested on or near their birthdays.

What wine do you drink after the kids go to bed? Right now (the kids just fell asleep), I’m drinking our own Clesi Rosé from Aglianico.  Most of the time, the kids go to bed and I follow their lead!

Jordan Fiorentini, Epoch Estate Wines

WINEmaker AND MOM TO two (11 and 5)

Kids or wine- which is more exhausting?  Ha! Depends on the time of year.  I’m so used to juggling both that being a mom and a winemaker is just who I am.

How do you juggle motherhood and wine demands, especially during harvest?  Harvest is always such an exciting time but the fact that working hours shift drastically overnight and that it coincides with a new school year always makes it a difficult and dynamic time.  My husband is in the industry too (not a winemaker but a supplier) so his schedule is a little less busy during the harvest period.  However, he still works full time plus so we have a nanny that helps out so much.  We couldn’t do what we do without her.

What is your perfect date night in Paso Wine Country?  A perfect bottle of wine at one of several great Paso restaurants where we spontaneously run into friends without planning beforehand.

What do you love about your job?  I love that it is a mix of science and art that involves nature and that every day is exciting and different than the day before.

Have you ever been embarrassed by your child at the winery, tasting room, and/or industry function/event? I’m sure I have but I also know I’ve embarrassed myself a lot more than I’ve ever felt embarrassed by my kids!

What wine do you drink after the kids go to bed? Depends on the time of year.  Most likely red. Pinot if it’s warmer out or a Rhone or something heavier if it’s cooler out. But most of the time I just pass out when I put them to bed.

Monica Villicana, Villicana Winery

WINEry owner AND MOM TO TWO (17 and 15)

How do you juggle motherhood and wine demands, especially during harvest? With humor…it’s just a beverage after all.

People come to Paso Robles Wine Country for vacation. What is your ideal vacation? Anywhere with my family. We tend to go on trips (explore) versus vacation (relax). I think I may have this wrong!

What are your favorite family-friendly tips for visitors? Take advantage of what the area has to offer beyond wine – zipline at Margarita Adventures, Hearst Castle, Warbirds Museum, downtown Paso, hiking, biking, etc…

What do you love about your job? The creativity, collaboration, the friends I have met, and the ability to make my own schedule so I can participate in the kids’ lives.

I’ve come to realize that my job… Is what energizes me so I have energy for my family. It is what puts food on the table, ignites my creativity, plays to my strengths, makes me interesting, and affords me the ability to be a part of my children’s lives. I love my job!

What wine do you drink after the kids go to bed? The kids go to bed after me now, so it is white wine with no guilt while they are awake!