Alberto Lopez of west Sonoma County’s Bacchus Landing Cellars has won one of this year’s North Bay Business Journal’s Latino Business Leadership Awards.
Tell us your story and that of your organization:
I am a Sonoma County based entrepreneur whose diverse career has covered the music industry, publishing and property management and development. Born in San Angelo, Texas, I moved with my parents to Fremont in 1962. I graduated from J.F. Kennedy High School in 1970 and went on to attend Ohlone College for two years. I was the second owner/publisher of Lowrider Magazine from 1986-1997, and together with my wife, Dina, we grew it into the nation’s No. 1 automotive magazine with over 260,000 monthly circulation. In 1998, I purchased my dream ranch and planted my first Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard.
The same year I enrolled and completed the viticulture program at the Santa Rosa Junior College. By 2000, I began a second successful career, as I transitioned into property management and development in both Southern and Northern California. I was primarily focused on residential property development and multifamily units.
In 2015, I purchased a 9.5 acre parcel of land along Westside Road and Dry Creek with the vision of creating a marquis wine destination that is centrally located in the Healdsburg area. This property will feature wine tasting rooms, event center and 50,000 square foot wine storage facility, to service the ever-growing wine industry. Today, I am joined by my children Francisco and Monica, who are actively working as a team together with Wright Contracting in creating Sonoma County’s premier wine center set to open Summer of 2018.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?: Both of my children graduating from college and my 39-year marriage
What is your biggest challenge today?: Building within budget
Words that best describe you: Creative, ambitious and innovator
As a successful professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?:
Like most entrepreneurs, working capital. We overcame this obstacle by doing most of the work ourselves.
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?:
The forecasts for the Sonoma County wine industry and tourism are all growth positive, so my hope is to continue expanding the development aspect of the business
Who was your most important mentor?: My maternal grandfather Francisco Dominguez, hardworking, generous and great advisor.
What advice would you give to a young person today?: Dedicate yourself in securing a college degree
Favorite hobbies: Winemaking, traveling and an occasional golf game