Top row (from left): Yuliana Cisneros-Guillén; Rich Schmidt; Sofía Torres McKay; Javier Castaneda (Nysa); Enrique Cervantez Diaz (Lange); Ulises Ayala (Arylin); Christina Gonzales; Miguel López; Jessica Sandrock. Bottom row: DeAnna Ornelas; Elena Rodriguez; Leydi Gonzalaz (Vitis Terra); Ivan George (Vitis Terra); Sonia Nieto Solano (Archery Summit); Cynthia Hernandez (Alumbra); Eva López (Red Dirt); Sam López (Red Dirt). Not pictured: Roman Carbajal Franco (Atlas). ##Photo by Sean Carr

Graduation Day Dos

AHIVOY’s second class includes first women

By Neal D. Hulkower

On April 27, six men and the program’s first four women celebrated completion of the Wine Industry Professional Training Program established by the Asociación Hispana de la Industria del Vino en Oregon y Comunidad (AHIVOY), becoming the second cohort to do so in less than two months. Coursework at Chemeketa Community College in Salem began Jan. 12 and included visits to area wineries.

Graduation festivities at Argyle Winery included lunch from Red Hills Market and sparkling from the host. Wines from Cramoisi, Winderlea and others were also tasted. Board members, including co-founders Sofía Torres McKay of Cramoisi Vineyard and Miguel López of Red Dirt Vineyard Management & Winemaking, offered congratulations and words of encouragement to the graduates. 

Yuliana Cisneros-Guillén, widow of co-founder Jesús Guillén and owner of Guillén Family Wines, explained to the students: “Jesús had this vision of creating this group for you … as he had the opportunity to learn from different tutors and different mentors throughout his career … he was willing to pay it forward.”  She emphasized, “He started out in the vineyard and worked himself to the cellar and, eventually, winemaker [at White Rose], and he started our brand.”

López added, “Congratulations! You made it! What if we could leave a legacy bigger than ourselves?” he wondered. “This is not the end for you guys … this is just the beginning.” 

Christina Gonzales, board secretary and owner of Gonzales Wine Company, who, like others, worked her way up, reminded the group: “AHIVOY and the board members are here to support you along the way, even after this program.”  Elena Rodriguez, member of the education committee and owner of Alumbra Cellars, echoed the sentiment.

Jessica Sandlock, member of the AHIVOY education committee and coordinator of programs and grants, thanked the growing list of partners essential to AHIVOY’s success.

Each graduate had a chance to speak — some in English, others in Spanish. Among them were Eva and Sam López, the sister and nephew of Miguel López, and Leydi Gonzales of Vitis Terra, who expressed the feelings of many: “I learned so much … I feel so good right now about myself and my work.”

As with any grassroots group, fundraising never stops. On June 12, AHIVOY presents the Latinx Progressive Market hosted at eight wineries and promising Hispanic-made wine, food and artisans. In addition, the AHIVOY Golf Tournament, July 30, and Online Auction for Education, Sept. 9–12, offer even more chances to contribute, while having fun. 

The Class of 2022 is planned for Jan. 5–April 27; applications are open and due Nov. 15. To apply, learn more or donate, visit

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