Rosalio "Chalo" Fernandez

Winemaker, Foley Sonoma

The excitement of harvest, the blending, and bottling of a wonderful wine is all an unforgettable process, and something Chalo has relished being a part of since he moved from Mexico to the wine countries of Sonoma and Napa. Since then, he has explored the art of winemaking in different capacities. Initially, doing the heavy work that takes place out in the vineyards. After one harvest, enjoying 100F degree weather in the fields, he made the decision to move to a different environment, the tasting room. There he enjoyed meeting people from all over the world discussing the many things that we had in common, in particular seeking a fantastic bottle of wine. Being curious about the what, why, and how, every bottle had its own identity, he found his passion for winemaking.

Chalo has worked in the wine cellar with the production of wine for the last ten years. During these years, he has been fortunate to work with very talented people: Provenance Winemaker Trevor Durling, where he completed his Winemaker Internship, Sterling white wine program winemaker John Hazak, and Harry Hansen, director of winemaking for Sterling who mentored Chalo during his years with Sterling vineyard. After a couple of busy years taking night classes after a long day of work in the cellar, he acquired an Associate’s Degree in Winemaking from Napa Valley College in 2014.

In 2016, Chalo was presented an opportunity to work at an alluring winery in the Alexander Valley with exceptional fruit quality, doing what he loves to do alongside a talented winemaker, Courtney Foley. For the past three years, He has continued to grow and develop knowledge and skills.  Now, he has the good fortune to continue his journey with Foley Family Wines, as winemaker for Foley Sonoma Winery.

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