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Employee Spotlight: Roxana Valenzuela, Assistant Winemaker

Roxana Valenzuela at the Lodi Facility

Roxana Valenzuela, the Assistant Winemaker for Thomas Allen Wine Estates, including brands such as Provenance Vineyards and Hook or Crook Cellars, first emigrated to the United States sixteen years ago. At that time, if asked what she loved about wine, she wouldn’t have had an answer. At this point in her career, she had studied Accounting at the University in Sinaloa, Mexico. Upon arriving in the US, she took a job on a bottling line at a large winery and had her first taste of the industry. Roxana states, “I didn’t grow up with dreams to being in the wine industry. I didn’t even know about wine until I came to the United States. I started learning more about wine from [that first job] and fell in love with the wine industry.”

Roxana worked on the bottling line for two years, after having quickly been promoted to Supervisor. Her aptitude for assessing the quality and readiness of the wine was immediate and caught the attention of the Winemaker. She moved away from the production side and into the winemaking side. Roxana holds a natural propensity for understanding how to maximize the aromas and flavors of a wine and continued to expand upon her natural gifts as a part of the winemaking team.

Over the span of her career, she has completed eight harvests and worked with six different winemakers - all of whom she credits to helping expand her knowledge and each lending a new and valuable insight into the art of winemaking. Roxana is especially proud of her ability to identify and enhance the distinct personality of a wine through sensory rich blending practices, and claims the development of this skill as one of her biggest accomplishments in winemaking. Her goal with each new wine is to “bring out the best quality of each region with every blend.”’

Roxana works hand-in-hand with the bottling team to ensure the quality of each bottle.

When asked about her favorite part of the job, the overwhelming answer was ‘opportunity.’ Roxana states that it’s how “each vintage gives the opportunity to create and discover the aspects and characteristics of that wine.”

Roxana’s current favorite wine in the Thomas Allen portfolio is the 2021 Provenance Vineyards Deadeye Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon. She and the rest of the winemaking team completed the inaugural vintage of this wine at the beginning of 2023. She describes the Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon as having elegant aromas with a fruit forward palate.

Roxana continues to expand her bredth of knowledge, with her current interests leading her to read and study articles on new and upcoming processing methods for grape growing regions around the world.

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