Art Toraño

My family immigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1960. The existential problem for my family was my grandfather Arturo’s company was one of the most successful leaf tobacco distributors in Cuba. We were selling leaf tobacco not only to the largest American Cigar producers, but to our cousins the Menendez family of Montecristo, H. Uppman and Por Larranaga cigars.

When the revolution shook the Island and all brands were nationalized, there was nothing left to be done and my Grandfather returned to Asturias in Spain. My father Arturo was sought out for his skills and began working for our previous American cigar clients in Connecticut. He went on to Nicaragua, Honduras, and Jamaica, before settling down with the Menendez family in Bahia, Brazil, where he still makes cigars to this day.

Given the challenges the cigar business had presented to my family, I chose a different path, despite my love of horticulture. However, in 1999 an event changed my life forever in the form of a 1995 Brunello di Motalcino. I had never had a wine remotely like this and it set a course for where we are today.

It is said great things often have small beginnings. I starting learning about wines and the places they come from, traveling through the wine regions of France and Spain, exposing myself to wines I had yet to discover. I participated in many wine dinners while working in Washington, DC. Most of this gave me the knowledge to at least know what I liked.

In 2007 my family and I went back to Bordeaux again and visited Le Interdit Wine Shop to pick up a mixed case for a week stay in Sarlat in the Perigord region. The owner remembered me from my last trip there and gave me a great mix of wines. I mentioned to him that I would love to own a small vineyard in France. After thinking a minute, he gave me a piece of sage advice “My friend, you know some of the best wines in the world come from California.” This statement coming from a Frenchman that owns one of the best wine shops in Bordeaux!

In 2008 we came out to Sonoma County and never looked back. We would rent homes in the different small towns, from Russian River to the North Coast, ultimately realizing Healdsburg was at the confluence of many of the AVAs in Sonoma County.

We acquired the “Mi Cielo” Vineyard in the Alexander Valley in 2011. We have invested a great deal of time and effort to make this the small gem it has become, a genuine boutique vineyard producing beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon. Through the years I have sought out relations with some of the best vineyards in Sonoma County and I will slowly be introducing more Rhone varietals from Russian River and Bennett Valley to our selections.

Over my lifetime, in spite of what successes I have enjoyed I have always felt a need to create something beautiful. Something I could do with my family and would bind us closer together. I have realized that dream every time I see the smile on a person’s face as they finish a glass of our wine.

Ryan Maier

Ryan Maier and his team provide vineyard management for Toraño Vineyards, nestled in the hillsides overlooking the renown Alexander Valley.

Maier has a history of managing boutique, high-end vineyards, that are quality driven and strive to showcase the full potential of each particular sites fruit and its personality in the wine glass. "Working towards the dream of creating the best possible glass of wine is what keeps me motivated”, says Maier With twelve harvests under his belt, his meticulous growing practices and attention to every detail in each vineyard are his sole focus. In his early years in the industry, he aided his family's project with his passion for farming and family values to help develop and build Saint Helena Road Vineyards and Winery. He worked harvest and cellaring alongside his father, Richard Maier and winemaker, Mike Hirby, learning all aspects of viticulture and vineyard management along with a strong work ethic. After the sale of the winery and vineyard in 2011, opportunities to farm other family run projects was Ryan's sole focus. Checkerboard Winery in Napa, with winemaker Martha McClellan, and Landy Family Vineyards in Russian River, with winemaker Paul Hobbs, were Ryan's start to farming outside his own family's project. Since then, Maier has, through word of mouth, branched out to farm over seven family vineyard properties, all with the quality standards that his own family carried. " I am proud to be a part of the Toraño dream to make the finest wines Alexander Valley can produce!”

Patrick Sullivan

Patrick Sullivan has been working as our winemaker since 2014. His background includes working with some of the biggest names in Napa and Sonoma counties. He served as Winemaker for Spring Mountain. Prior to that he worked at Paul Hobbs, Lewis Cellars and Peter Michael, giving him a broad spectrum of experience of working with the terroir varietals we are producing.

One of his greatest strengths is his ability to work hand in hand with our vineyard management team to assure our fruit is well developed and is picked by taste rather than by sugar content. His efforts have raised the quality of our wines beyond expectations and genuinely make A. Toraño Wines an artisanal effort, where the art truly matches the science.

Enzo Toraño

My son Enzo is an aspiring winemaker and although he currently holds the position of “Cellar Rat” for A. Toraño Wines. For the past two years he has been a protégé’ of Patrick Sullivan and has proven to be hard working and disciplined over the last two harvests. This usually consists of 14 hour days, seven days a week for almost two months straight. He has been pursuing his education at the Santa Rosa Junior College’s Shone Farm School and is looking forward to attending Cal Poly or UC Davis for his Viniculture degree.