By L. Stephen Velasquez – SmithsonianMag.com – Photo courtesy of Israel Valencia | ©Israel Valencia.
Photo: Alejandro Castillo Llamas acquired his deep knowledge of the wine business from the ground up.
Alex Llamas, Gustavo Brambila and Amelia Ceja arrived as migrant workers and today thrive as entrepreneurs in the California wine industry. The wine-making bug bit Alejandro “Alex” Castillo Llamas early on. His parents, migrant workers from Mexico, had settled in Napa, California, finding work in a vineyard, when he was just nine years old. He labored alongside his family, harvesting the grapes from the fields.