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Inspiring Conversations with Cleo de la Torre of Más Allá Wines

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cleo de la Torre. 

Hi Cleo, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
At Más Allá Wines, we produce wines made from environmentally-friendly vineyards and use low-intervention wine-making techniques. We focus our attention on the magic that happens in vineyards, doing justice to each varietal from root to fruit, bringing you wines that showcase each grape’s unique character. 

Más Allá started as a dream that my husband, Jordan, and I shared. The dream became reality when I decided to jump in head first, leaving my former life as a high school English teacher in 2020. We’re just getting started on what should be our greatest adventure and we look forward to our future in the wine world. While we don’t have our own production facility or tasting room just yet, Más Allá will begin its story as a platform to lift up organic and biodynamic vineyards and partner with and highlight our talented wine-making friends. Together we are creating wines that we personally love to drink – styles and varietals that deserve more recognition and that excite fellow wine lovers and newcomers alike. 

At Más Allá, we believe that each bottle tells a story of the past for everyone to enjoy as they look forward to the future. In our attempt to honor the past and celebrate the future, our name, Más Allá, says it all. Más Allá is the Spanish translation of the Latin phrase “Plus Ultra,” meaning “further beyond.” The full phrase, “Non-Plus Ultra” is inscribed at the Pillars of Hercules at the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, which at the time of antiquity was the westernmost point in the world. It warned travelers that there was “nothing further beyond” that point. After the discovery of the New World, Spain changed its national motto to “Plus Ultra” commemorating the expansion of the known world. Likewise, we embrace the spirit of Más Allá and strive to bring you wines that are classically styled and naturally made. A celebration for the best of the old world and the promises of the new. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It certainly has not been a smooth road since we decided to jump into this in February 2020. I used to be a high school English teacher, and I told my principal that I would not be returning to teach the following year on March 11, 2020, just two days before we went into lockdown and never returned to school for that year. We did not hesitate to continue to move forward with our plans but the supply chain definitely slowed down our production. Everything from cork to glass to packaging to labels were delayed. The only thing we could expect to arrive on time were the grapes. 

We’ve been impressed with Más Allá Wines, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am a first-generation Lebanese American who comes from a long line of small business owners. Wine is a completely new frontier for my husband and me, and although we consider ourselves avid wine enthusiasts and despite the fact that I hold a WSET 2 certificate with distinction, we are both just dipping our toes into wine from the professional standpoint. We simply love wine and love nature and love that nature produces wine. We hope to one day manage our own vineyard, but we know that is many years down the line. For now, we are happy to work with winemakers who have the facilities and know-how that we don’t yet have to help us make the wine that we love. Although we offer an array of styles, our focus is in Loire Valley-inspired, single varietal wines–Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc. These are some of our favorite grapes to drink and although they are often used for blending to help balance out other wine styles, we find that they shine all on their own. We source our grapes from organic vineyards and employ low-intervention methods to make “classically styled and naturally made” wine that celebrates the beauty of the fruit. 

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I got my black belt in karate when I was 13 years old. I have since traded in my nunchucks for a yoga mat and I love to combine my two favorite hobbies and host wine and yoga events around San Diego. 

Pricing:

  • Cabernet Franc $45
  • Rosé of Cab Franc $35
  • Chenin Blanc $40
  • Orange Chenin Blanc $35
  • Pinot Noir $45

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Nicholas Gingold
Craft Media Solutions

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