Chicago transplants Joe and Elana Reynoso now live in Sonoma, California, making wine with the philosophy that the wine speaks of its vintage and place, rather than wines that have been engineered in the cellar after harvest.
Joe Reynoso fell in love with wine while he was a college student at San Francisco State University in the 1980s. His proximity to California’s premium wine country, particularly Sonoma and Napa counties, provided the opportunity to further develop his knowledge and passion for wines. He graduated with a business degree in 1983, and from there attended the University of Chicago Graduate School of business, receiving an MBA in 1985. He entered the finance world, working as a trader on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. His career traversed the realm of financial derivatives and boutique asset management firms. Throughout his business career, his love for wine grew into the dream of getting into the wine business. After a long, well-researched investigation of properties in Napa and Sonoma counties, he finally decided upon a 500 acre parcel in the Alexander Valley AVA.
In 2001, Elena officially entered the vineyard picture when she and Joe were married. Elena had been in the wine business in Chicago for 12 years, first in a fine-wine retail store (where she sold quite a few cases of wine to Joe), and then at a fine wine distributor, where she sold, and eventually managed a portfolio of small, highly sought-after French, Italian and Spanish wines. Though she had no formal training in viticulture nor wine-making, she found a new passion in the vineyards and soon took over managing the vineyards and making wine. Joe and Elena have both remained passionate about Reynoso Vineyards and constantly strive for greater quality from the vineyards and the wines.