For decades, the Washington wine industry has depended on the back-breaking, underappreciated work of Hispanics.
Recently, they have begun to step beyond the vines and into more prominent roles as vineyard managers, viticulturalists, enologists, winemakers -- even owners of vineyards and wineries.
Here are a few of their inspiring stories.
In many ways, it makes sense that Victor Palencia's first memory of life is riding on the shoulders of his father at the age of 2 as their family crossed from San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico, into Arizona.
"And I still remember the bus ride that changed our lives forever," he said.
The next stop was Prosser, Wash., for Palencia, who has been fast-tracked and hand-picked by leaders in the wine industry.
However, the 27-year-old gives credit to his family for the inspiration, work ethic and emotional support that helped him -- by the age of 23 -- become head winemaker for one of the state's largest wineries.
"I have eight brothers and sisters, and our family has great stories of going out in the vineyard to work and putting us in the picking bin, using it like a little playpen. So at an early age, you definitely learn to appreciate the vineyard canopy because of the shading," Palencia said with a chuckle.
"But my family led me to become a dreamer, and I will always cherish them for that," he said, turning serious. "We didn't have much, so they were not able to help me a whole lot financially, but they kept telling me to just try and give it a go and always pick yourself up. To have that backing, that support? I can't tell you how much that has meant."
His talents are obvious as Jones of Washington in Quincy earned Wine Press Northwest's 2012 Washington Winery of the Year, but his path to the world of wine began at Willow Crest Winery in Prosser with Dave Minick.
"I will always give him credit for giving a 16-year-old kid access to his winemaker," said Palencia, whose older brother worked in the vineyard for Minick. "Dave was the guy who helped me piece this together and make the bond between the winery and the vineyard. I must have exhibited a level of maturity, and he really helped me find this passion."
He took that back into the classroom at Prosser High School, where he graduated in 2003.
"I've always enjoyed the chemistry and the science," Palencia said. "I wasn't quite a nerd, but I loved exploring, and I applied everything I learned in the winery to school during my junior and senior years."
Minick was the first of his many mentors. Just as important to his career path was his high school counselor Suzanne Strausz, who also introduced him to legendary wine instructor Stan Clarke.
"She gave me a letter of recommendation before I graduated, and I have it framed hanging in my office to this day,"