Meet the Maker
Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribó: Crafting Natural Wines from Catalonia to California
Meet Tara and Mireia, the wife and wife winemaking duo of Camins 2 Dreams bringing the first natty wine to the Maker fam.
By Sarah Hoffman
May 15, 2022
Through marriage, Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribó of Camins 2 Dreams built a bridge from California to Catalonia. Now, with a Santa Barbara-grown Albariño, Maker and Camins 2 Dreams are celebrating that connection with a vibrant white wine that’s ready to get the party started.
When we first met Tara and Mireia a year and a half ago, we knew we wanted them in the Maker collective. But, as a small start-up winery, they didn’t have the grapes to spare for a new collab. Grapes or no grapes, these aren’t women to be deterred, so they got to work. Over the next 18 months, we partnered with Camins 2 Dreams from concept to can as they sourced grapes from a local Certified Sustainable vineyard, went through harvest, and started fermentation—snagging accolades from Bon Appetit and Food & Wine along the way.
The result is a truly special wine that is a perfect reflection of their style and story. This Albariño is native to Spain, Mirieia's home country, and grown in Santa Ynez Valley, home to the Chumash, Tara's tribe. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Tara and Mireia’s story doesn’t start with Albariño, it starts in a California wine lab.
Mireia and Tara's first day of harvest, picking the Albariño!
The California Chemist
When Tara was four, her parents gave her a Fisher Price science set. Looking through her pint-sized microscope, she fell in love with chemistry and the natural world. Going to wine tastings with her parents as a kid, Tara began to put together that wine was a natural process of biology and chemistry too. Even though she was still in grade school, she had seen enough to dedicate her life to wine.
“I got to see the back-end of winemaking from such a young age. Being so young and stepping into the cellar—those memories are still vivid in my mind.” - Tara
When it was time to go to college, Tara was having trouble deciding between two of California’s premier wine schools: UC Davis and Fresno State. Then, she learned Fresno had its own vineyard for students. The choice was made. With a scholarship from her tribe, Tara attended California State University Fresno where she studied Enology.
Of the 100 students enrolled in her year, 12 women made it to graduation, and Tara was one of only two who finished with a concentration on the actual wine-making process (as opposed to marketing).
Degree in hand, Tara went to work in the labs at Fess Parker and then J. Lohr to help them refine their process. While she knew she’d find good wine there, she didn’t expect to find her future wife.
The Catalan kid
While Tara was looking at leaves under a toy microscope, another little girl, Mireia, was falling in love with winemaking—6,000 miles away.
“My family has a small vineyard for home winemaking. As a kid, I loved getting into the grapes and foot-stomping them. In my family, there’s always wine on the table.” - Mireia
Growing up in Catalonia, Mireia learned to love wine as an integral part of each meal. She also loved chemistry but knew she didn’t want to spend her life in a lab, so she focused on the study of wine to ensure she could still spend plenty of time in the Catalonian sunshine.
In 2006, Mireia crossed paths with Tara when she took a harvest internship at J. Lohr in Paso Robles. While her job was in the cellar, she had friends in the wine lab, so she visited often. Her friends were happy to see her, but the lab manager, Tara, thought her interruptions were a little disruptive. So Tara put Mireia to work on her passion project: Kalawashaq’ Wine Cellars – her label named for the village of Tara’s Chumash ancestors. Luckily, it was the same job that Mireia loved doing with her feet as a kid: punch downs.
The two bonded over the work, but soon, it was time for Mireia to return home. They kept in touch and eventually, Mireia convinced Tara to visit her in the Pyrenees mountains to sip Albariño in her home country. That trip was just the beginning.
Over the course of several years, dozens of wine trips together, and countless glasses of wine—the two fell in love.
“We used all our vacation days to explore the world's wine regions together. Mireia would take me all throughout Europe, from Mosel to Bordeaux, and I took her all over California.” - Tara
California wine, European sensibility
The two officially settled in California to marry in 2014. After three years they started their own label Camins 2 Dreams—or the “path” to their dreams as a nod to their love of travel, wine, and each other. More than inspiration for their name, their tasting trips have also informed their winemaking philosophy.
Spain has strict regulations on what can be added to wines, so Mireia was shocked to discover that so many wine additives were allowed in the United States. For Camins 2 Dreams, Tara and Mireia decided on a minimalist approach to production, using only native yeasts to allow the wine to speak for itself and for the land it grew on—nothing added or removed.
The Maker Albariño
Which brings us to Maker's first natural wine – Albariño. To Tara and Mireia this can transports them back to Rías Baixas, the mountainous Catalonian coast where they dined, drank Albariño, and fell in love.
Expect floral stone fruit notes, plenty of complexity, and real weight on the palate. Pair this wine with fresh seafood or Mireia's favorite, cottage cheese and honey.
“Sometimes people compare Albariño to the riper style of Sauv blanc. It’s not grassy, but it has the tropical fruit, acidity, and weight similar to a ripe Sauv blanc.” - Mireia
If Albariño had a personality, she’d be the first on the dance floor, probably getting down to Spanish rumba.
Under each of our cans, we leave a message that helps capture the inspiration behind the wine. With Albariño, we looked to Tara’s and Mireia’s trips to the Rías Baixas, sipping Albariño under the green mountains, by the sea.
For them, words can’t capture that feeling, so they decided to print “sin palabras” or “without words” on each can. When you take your first sip, we’re sure it’ll leave you speechless.