From the bustling streets of Mexico City to the rolling vineyards of Napa Valley, Nicolas Diaz-Larrañaga's journey in the world of wine is as rich and varied as the varietals he has come to master. His story began in Miami, where, while pursuing a Bachelor’s in Business Administration at Florida International University, an unexpected elective wine course altered the course of his life. Under the tutelage of experts Chip Cassidy and Bill Hebrank, Nicolas unearthed a passion that went beyond textbooks and lectures: he fell deeply in love with the world of wine.
His passion took form when he embraced an industry job as a sales clerk in a wine shop. But the classroom and shop floor were just the beginning. When winemaker Daryl Groom extended an open invitation for a harvest internship at Geyser Peak, Nicolas was the lone student to seize the opportunity. This hands-on experience in 2005 was the first of many.
From the sparkling wine haven of Domaine Carneros in California to the unique terroirs of New Zealand, Nicolas immersed himself in diverse wine cultures and practices. His academic pursuits didn’t end in Miami; he honed his skills further with a winemaking certificate from UC Davis.
In 2010, Fantesca Estate & Winery welcomed Nicolas to its esteemed winemaking team. Here, amidst Fantesca's sprawling vineyards and cherished wine traditions, Nicolas found a professional home. Recognizing his talent and dedication, Fantesca elevated him to the role of Assistant Winemaker in 2016. His transformation from a curious student in a wine-tasting class to a instrumental cornerstone at Fantesca is a testament to his unwavering dedication and ever-evolving expertise in the captivating world of winemaking.