Head Wine Maker, Columbia Crest – The World of Washington Wine.
Meet TEDxSpokane speaker Juan Muñoz Oca. Juan is the head winemaker at Columbia Crest Winery in Paterson, Washington. Columbia Crest is recognized as the leading producer of acclaimed, high-quality wines from Washington state. As winemaker, Muñoz Oca is responsible for producing the winery’s portfolio of Reserve, H3, and Grand Estates wines.
Raised in Mendoza, Argentina, Juan came under the tutelage of his grandfather, cellar master at Bodegas Toso winery, at a young age. The older man instilled in him a love and respect for wine, as well as his family’s Spanish culture, that was to become the root of a lifelong passion for winemaking. He has continued to develop his craft during stints at wineries in Argentina, Spain, and Australia.
Although his winemaking experience stretches across the globe, it is his time in Washington that has been most meaningful. Muñoz Oca says, “Washington state is a very special place for winemaking. We have high quality fruit, ideal growing conditions, and the best viticultural practices. I fell in love with the wine, and the people, and that’s why I’ve been here since.”