There's so much history and storytelling behind a bottle of wine. Some of the most interesting stories are those of the people behind the bottle, the ones working countless hours sorting grapes, racking barrels, stacking cases, working behind a desk or serving guests in the tasting room. We have many people here at Clos Du Val who contribute to our story and who we are as a winery. We'd like to introduce you to a new series where we showcase The Faces of Clos Du Val, as many of them are rarely in the spotlight, but are an integral part of who we are.
I couldn't be happier to start this series off with one of the most humble people you will ever meet. He's also one of Clos Du Val's longest standing employees. Everyone, please meet Lucio Saucedo.
Q&A with Lucio Saucedo, Cellar & Production Team Member at Clos Du Val
How long have you been with Clos Du Val?
I’ve worked here for 36 years. I first started working at Clos Du Val when I was in my early 20's. It all started in the vineyards, picking grapes, during harvests.
How did you get started in the wine business?
I started working in wine because it’s what was popular in the valley for work. In this area it’s what everyone does, so I thought I would give it a try. I first started in the vineyards and worked there for 5 years, then moved to the cellar and production. I really enjoyed working in the winery, so there I stayed.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
My favorite part is working with barrels; racking them, filling them, the entire process of helping create the wine. I like this because it keeps me busy. I’m always doing something and it’s interesting.
How have you seen the industry change over your time here?
It has grown so much since I started. There are so many new and different methods, ideas and technologies. Before it was much more simple – now it’s so much more involved but is helping to lead to more options and better wine quality.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud that after all these years, I can still adjust to all of the changes. It feels good that I am still here, adapting and finding ways to keep up with the industry. I am proud that I have been around for so long and have experienced so much.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Many people are surprised by my cooking. I enjoy making food for those that I love. Some of my best dishes include ceviche, pickled habanero and I make about seven different salsas.
When you’re not working at the winery, what can people find you doing?
Relaxing. (He says with a laugh) I like to stay home when I’m not working and just relax.
Drink of choice?
I like beer, cervesa. Any beer, I’m not picky.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Frijoles. Beans. You can cook them all different ways and choose from many different types of beans. Yeah, it would be beans.
We finish the interview and you step outside to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
Pay off my debts and then help out my family and children with whatever they need. I would spend it mostly on my family, that I love. I have a son and daughter with my wife of 28 years.
Well, I hope you enjoyed the first post of our new series. Lucio was such a joy to interview. And I can personally attest to the fact that he is a great cook - he spoils us by bringing his creations in often! His pickled habanero is to die for.
Until next time on The Faces of Clos Du Val..