Laura Díaz Muñoz

Laura Díaz Muñoz

Ehlers Estate (Winemaker & Director of Operations)

Laura Diaz Muñoz grew up in Alcobendas, a suburb of Madrid. Spending summers near Salamanca at the farm of her grandparents converted her from being a “city girl” to one having the heart of a farmer. Because Spanish culture includes food and wine as a normal part of life, she remembers growing up that wine was always on the table for lunches and dinners, and that mass on Sundays was followed by tapas and wines at a local bar.

Her first memory of enjoying wine occurred when she was on vacation at a small seaside village as a young girl. She and her father shared a glass of Albariño, and, in her own words, “I will never forget how delicious it tasted and how perfect it was with the food, the place, and the wine.” She smelled the sea in every glass of this varietal.

Laura’s love for food, fostered by spending time in the kitchen of her grandmother when spending summers at the farm, prompted her to initially study food science in college, but soon decided that her future career was in the vineyards and wineries. To further this goal, she earned a Master of Science degree in Viticulture and Enology from the Polytechnic University in Madrid.

Her first position was with Finca Otero in La Mancha, followed by stops at Isabel Estate Vineyards in Marborough, New Zealand, and Calina Winery in Talca, Chile. From there, she landed in Napa, where she worked under the mentorship of Chris Carpenter for several years. Laura launched her own wine label, Galerie Wines, in 2012 while with Jackson Family wines, which she first joined in 2007 as associate winemaker for Cardinale, Lokoya, Mt. Brave and La Jota.

Laura was named Winemaker and Director of Operations for Ehlers Estate in 2018. In describing her new position, she says, “I’m excited for the opportunity at Ehlers Estate to work with a contiguous, organically-farmed vineyard with my own vineyard crew. My greatest aspiration is to make balanced wines which are reflective of the unique fruit and minerality character of Ehlers Estate vineyard, with long finishes and distinct textures that are difficult to forget on the palate.” At Ehlers, she’ll be making Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc, among other varietals and blends.

Laura remains enamored with food and wine pairings and has written a short cookbook that features her family recipes paired with Galerie wines.