Maria Cortez

Maria Cortez

Folie à Deux (Winemaker)

Maria Cortez’s interest in winemaking was a childhood dream fostered by hearing about her father’s time in the vineyards over the course of more than 20 years. She recognized that winemaking is a labor of love and a form of art that captivated and inspired her.

Maria earned an Associate of Arts degree from Napa Valley College, having completed courses in social and behavioral science, general education, and natural sciences and mathematics, all of which would serve well in preparing for a career as a winemaker. She furthered her formal education at the University of California, Davis, with a degree in Fermentation Science in 2008. An internship at Sterling Vineyards in 2006 and working for Diageo from 2007 to mid-2013 as a quality assurance technician, which included a stint with Beaulieu Vineyard and its George de Latour brand, added to her experience in the wine industry.

Maria was determined to become a winemaker, so she joined the Trinchero Family as enologist. Initially working with Folie à Deux and a sister brand in 2013, she was promoted to senior enologist a year later and then to assistant winemaker in 2015. Maria realized her childhood dream by becoming the winemaker for Folie à Deux in early 2020, following in the footsteps of her friend, Dominica Totty.

As lead winemaker, Maria continues the tradition established by Totty of shaping the winery’s brand and furthering its commitment to sustainability. She crafts wines that reflect her determination and devotion as much as her grapes’ signature Sonoma sourcing across famed Russian River, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Sonoma Coast AVAs.