Choosing her favorite part of work is a tough call for Andrea Fleming. She loves sampling and sharing the flagship cabernet sauvignon that winery owner and winemaker Michael Trujillo makes. It soars with robust black cherry, black currant and dark cocoa, framed with hints of clove, cedar and peppercorn.
But she also is thrilled to manage a company so committed to sustainability and protecting the earth. After years of working with its Napa Valley vineyard and winery partners, the company undertook the demanding process of becoming Napa Green Winery Certified and achieved official designation in 2017.
“The Napa Green program requires our facility and practices to meet more than 100 criteria, designed to meet goals like saving energy and increasing energy efficiency,” Fleming says. “We work to conserve water, reduce waste through recycling and composting, and draw down greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprints.”
It’s a lot for a relatively young, small company to aspire to – Trujillo’s first vintage was the 2011 bottling, and today, the winery operates with just seven employees. Yet Trujillo himself has been working in the wine industry since the 1980s, including with Sequoia Grove Winery in Rutherford.
Trujillo’s quaint, dog-friendly tasting room now welcomes visitors with limited production vineyard designate selections, reserve cabernets, and a collection of Madelyn label red, white and Rosé wines. There is also a boutique market, offering local extra virgin olive oil and Napa Valley red wine vinegar.
And here’s a tip from Fleming: pay attention to the artistic woodwork in the tasting room – Trujillo has a workshop at his house, where he creates the gorgeous pieces on display.
During her free time, Fleming still embraces the Napa Valley lifestyle that her winery job affords her. She relishes the produce that Trujillo grows in his own garden and shares generously, explores the outdoors with her family to soak up the beauty, and celebrates with fine wine (“life is too short to drink bad wine,” she quips).
Most of all, she appreciates the unique, down-to-earth Calistoga community she interacts with every day.
“Calistoga has the annual tractor parade,” she says, with a laugh. “Huge win!”