Raised in Mendoza, Argentina, Muñoz Oca came under the tutelage of his grandfather, cellar master at Bodegas Toso winery, at a young age. The older man instilled in him a love and respect for wine, as well as for his family’s Spanish culture, that was to become the root of a lifelong passion for winemaking. He picked his first grapes at the age of eight, later took an after-school job in a wine cellar, and spent his vacations helping his grandfather with harvest. Though Muñoz Oca planned to further his experience with an internship at a California winery, in 2001 a meeting with the legendary Dr. Robert Wample, then a top viticulturalist at Washington State University convinced him to head further north to Washington. In the summer of 2001, he began interning with the viticulture team at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, and in 2003 began working at Columbia Crest. With time out for stints at Bleasdale Vineyards in Australia and Bordeaux’s Chateau Puy Guilhem, he’s been at Columbia Crest ever since.