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BIPOC winemakers Naked Gives Back Roots Fund

Stay Rooted: Monica Palenzuela

Monica left the New York City publishing world for a wine tank – and she’s not looking back.

Meet the new wave of winemakers sponsored by “Stay Rooted in California” – a scholarship program developed by The Roots Fund and Naked Wines

The Roots Fund is creating change in an industry that I believe is long overdue for new voices and different backgrounds to be the rule, not the exception. I hope to be one of those new voices.”

Monica Palenzuela, UC Davis winemaking student,
“Stay Rooted” Scholarship Recipient

Naked Wines and The Roots Fund are proud to support Monica Palenzuela – one of eight recipients of the “Stay Rooted” Scholarship in 2020-2021. 

Originally from Miami, Monica Palenzuela fell in love with the hustle and bustle of New York City – and its unique wine culture. Palenzuela left her full-time job in publishing to lean into her passion for wine, apprenticing at a small Brooklyn wine shop, Vanderbilt Wine Merchants, stocking shelves. Her role led into events management, and she eventually ascended into a role as Director of Operations in 2019…

…all while spending the last several harvests gaining critical hands-on wine experience. Palenzuela has ventured out west several years to serve as a harvest and production intern for wineries including Tuck Beckstoffer Estate in St. Helena and Sonoma County’s Idlewild Wines.

Now a WSET Level 2 graduate, Palenzuela is using her scholarship award to complete the Winemaking Certificate Program at UC Davis.


The Roots Fund

About our partner: The Roots Fund was created to empower communities of color by providing resources and financial support through educational scholarships, wine education, mentorship, and job placement. Naked has pledged a 5-year commitment to The Roots Fund and the advancement of the BIPOC community in wine.

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