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My Story The origin of Arador

It was my father who instilled in me the value of hard work.

I grew up helping my father with a small piece of land he farmed outside Atacheo, a small town in Michoacan, Mexico where I was raised. He grew tomatoes, beans, corn, and other crops. By age twelve I’d learned how to hook up the different types of ploughs to our horses. It was complicated, but it was my favorite thing to do. The smell of damp Michoacán earth is one I’ll never forget.

Carmen and Roberto Alfaro posed in front of a row of vines.
Carmen and Roberto Alfaro

It was Napa Valley that taught me about winegrowing.

When I came to Napa Valley at the age of 17, I went to work for David Abreu, planting and tending some of the finest vineyards in the valley. But it was winemaking that captured my interest, and after 3 harvests and a cellar job at The Hess Collection, I landed a position as Cellar Lead at Caldwell Vineyard, which was brand new at the time. As Caldwell did a lot of custom crush work, I had the opportunity to work hands on with many high end wines in small lots, and I loved it. It was there I met Sam Kaplan.

Sam is the Winemaker at Arkenstone, the highly respected winery and vineyard on Howell Mountain. In 2006 and 2007, before the winery was built, Arkenstone made its wines at Caldwell, and Sam and I got to know each other. He trusted me with his wines, and I loved talking with and learning from him. When Arkenstone was getting ready for its first harvest in 2008, Sam asked me to join as Assistant Winemaker. I’ve been there ever since.

From our very first crush, Arkenstone has been the learning experience of a lifetime. Working with the winery’s estate vineyards and other outstanding fruit sources is absolutely a privilege, as is working side by side with Sam Kaplan as my mentor.