Selections de la Viña
About Álvaro de la Viña
With a name like Álvaro de la Viña (Álvaro from the vines), one would assume Álvaro’s family history has always involved wine. Instead, Álvaro grew up the son of a citrus fruit importer and claims no one else in the family is connected to wine aside from drinking it. The Romans believed names were destiny and called this phenomenon nomen et omen. Sure enough, Álvaro’s path has led him to importing Spanish wine.
Originally from Seville, Álvaro’s family moved to Madrid, then Equatorial Guinea before moving to Philadelphia in 1989, where his uncle was living. There was no real reason for his parents to move to the U.S. except to be adventurous. The first couple of years, Alvaro’s mother sold homemade gazpacho to local restaurants while his father took English classes and looked for a job. At this time, it was the golden age of Spanish clementines, and Philadelphia was, and still is, the main port of entry for fresh produce. Álvaro’s father found a job importing citrus fruit from Valencia. After about three years, the family moved to Rye, NY but stayed in the citrus importing industry. Álvaro and his family moved back to Spain when Álvaro was a junior in high school. While living in the U.S., Álvaro’s family kept their Spanish heritage alive. His friends inevitable learned about the Spanish culture and way of life. It was ingrained into Álvaro at this time to connect his two cultures.
The passion for wine came during Álvaro’s college years in Madrid. After college, Álvaro moved back to the states to follow his father’s footsteps and import citrus fruit from Spain. Agriculture was his career, but wine was his obsession. The thought of using his father’s U.S. fruit import company as a platform for importing wine started to materialize during the demise of the Spanish clementines. California Cuties and consumers’ love for Cuties reduced Spanish clementines to a small window of opportunity conditioned by California’s availability. With a company so dependent on one product, something needed to be done and fast.
Experience importing clementines had taught Álvaro that hard work on the farm was directly reflected in the quality of the fruit. A cult follower of Jose Pastor Selections, Álvaro could taste the authenticity of the wines and appreciate the natural practice behind them: nothing added, nothing taken away. Alvaro saw the connection between citrus fruit picked right off of the tree and wines made from nothing but fermented grape juice. He began to think of wine as a product of agriculture “made by real farmers.” Everything started to make sense: Álvaro would stop importing clementines and start importing natural wines. Álvaro has chosen to focus on Spain, so he can keep blending his Spanish heritage with American culture.
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