Mexican-American winemaking star whose dreams know no bounds
- Since arriving from Mexico, Fernando has worked his way through the ranks in Napa and Sonoma, from vineyard and cellar worker at Robert Mondavi to Cellar Master and winemaker at T-Vine in Calistoga, then founding his own brand, Voces.
- Fernando now has the opportunity to bring a fresh new voice into winemaking, bringing his vision for wines to a national audience, raising representation for the vineyard and cellar workers who have truly been the backbone of California wine culture for the last 50 years.
- Fernando is especially passionate about making reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Syrah, as well as whites like Chardonnay. With your support, he has access to some of the finest vineyards in Carneros and Russian River Valley. The sky’s the limit!
Fernando Candelario's Story
Fernando immigrated from Mexico with his parents, who brought him to Napa and became vineyard workers. He began his journey working in the vineyards, too, but wanted to do something more. He worked his way up from the vineyard to the cellar to the bottling line at Robert Mondavi.
At T-Vine, Fernando became a full-time barreling operator and Cellar Master. In 2001, the owner gave him the chance to make his own wines. He began by making 2,000 cases, then in five years, grew T-Vine to 10,000 cases. The owner of T-Vine also encouraged Fernando to create his own label and learn decision making.
In 2002, Fernando launched his own brand, Voces, making premium, high-altitude vineyard wines. The Spanish name Voces means voices in English, meaning through his wines, Fernando gives voice to the wine industry laborers who are often overlooked and underappreciated. He knows everything begins in the vineyard, so he makes wines that champion the commitment and dedication of vineyard workers.
Winemaking is Fernando’s passion. “I am involved 100%. I want to do all the work and let my art express itself in the bottle,” said Fernando. “I put love and dedication into all my wines. I listen to them, then taste them, like a chef does when he creates new dishes.”
A winegrower approached Fernando about buying grapes just as his buyer backed out of the deal. Luckily, through his son, Jason, Fernando discovered Naked Wines’ partnerships with independent winemakers. Because of Angel funding, he is now making special wines for you from Sonoma’s Carneros and Russian River Valley. Your support allows Fernando to focus on making wine instead of what he calls the “boring stuff” like marketing and sales.
Fernando also has a vision of making wines from the up-and-coming regions of his native Mexico. “Naked Wines has the potential to be among the largest wineries in the world and I want to help with that by providing wines from the people, for the people,” said Fernando. “It’s a big step and challenge to create unique wines that align with my vision and heart, but with your support, my dreams are coming true.”