Dalia Ceja

Dalia Ceja is a Latina in love with sharing lifestyle tips and trends focused on fashion, travel, food, drinks and fiestas.

wine

Adiós 2015, Bienvenido 2016

Fashion, Fiestas, Food & DrinkDaliaComment
BCBG Dress and Necklace, Vintage Feather Wrap, Sam Edelman Heels, Michael Kors Watch

BCBG Dress and Necklace, Vintage Feather Wrap, Sam Edelman Heels, Michael Kors Watch

Happy New Year amigos! I’m delighted to announce I’m back and spearheading my lifestyle blog in full force. To recap, over the past year and a half I tackled a few milestones that temporarily took my full attention (a little thing called life). Some key highlights included: receiving my executive MBA at Sonoma State University in wine marketing, collaborating with NakedWines.com to produce my 3rd vintage of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay under my La Tapatia wine label, while marching into my 30’s with gusto and continuing to work with my family's winery.  Whew, what a ride!

In short, much has transpired in such a beautiful way and now I can’t wait to continue to share my adventures, findings, fashion tips, recipes and shenanigans with all of you. Thank you for joining me on this journey and here’s to an unforgettable and exciting 2016. Ole!

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Throughout the holidays I always like to have a festive option that's an alternative to sequins and classic red outfits. The soft ivory tulle dress in contrast to the chocolate brown feather wrap offers a modern yet sexy way to dress up your holiday ensemble. Did I mention I have a slight dress obsession?

Ceja Vineyards Wine Club Cruise

Travel, Fiestas, Food & DrinkDaliaComment
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Sail away with me to paradise...

There is nothing more appealing than leaving the chilly California weather during February and embarking on a cruise to the Western Caribbean! In fact, this was no ordinary cruise and instead marked our inaugural Ceja Vineyards wine club cruise with over 100 of our fabulous club members. Traveling will forever remain a huge passion in my life and this trip was nothing less than unforgettable and amazing.

The Celebrity Silhouette was our home for seven days, which was not only grandiose but also luxurious in every facet. We set sail from Fort Lauderdale and leisurely made our way to Cozumel, Grand Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Haiti. Each stop was simply breathtaking with gorgeous panoramic views of crystal clear Caribbean water, white sandy beaches and lush vegetation.

Our agenda was relaxed but was naturally interweaved with socializing, dining and getting to know our wine club members on a personal basis. We held exclusive food and wine pairing dinners and tastings that were both educational, entertaining and fun! Overall the experience was such a huge success that we will be embarking on a wine club cruise every year. So, who’s coming with us next time? Ole!

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Postcards from Puerto Vallarta

Travel, Food & DrinkDaliaComment
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Oh hello, Thanksgiving week! I just came back from spending 10 glorious days in Puerto Vallarta.  This was no ordinary trip and in fact I was there for work (yes, work) promoting Ceja Vineyards wines at the Festival Gourmet International at The Grand Mayan Resort. It was quite the honor to participate considering my mom was the invited chef at Tramonto Restaurant. I also acted as her Sous Chef and we both joined forces to heavily promote our wines during the winemaker dinners every evening.

I had been to Puerto Vallarta once before as a kid but now I could really appreciate the lush landscape, the vibrant culture and the beautiful beaches. We had a strict agenda most of the time but during the day we had a few hours to escape and explore the quaint colonial town, eat fresh fish on the beach and catch some rays with a refreshing Paloma in hand.

Here are a few highlights of the trip - both working & relaxing. 

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Every night I was floored by the reactions that the guests had of the delicious food, the wines and the overall dinning experience. We couldn’t have done it without the help of such an amazing and cohesive team at the Grand Mayan Resort. From the talented chefs, to the sommeliers, to the servers at the restaurant, everyone collaborated as a unit and made it a 5 star experience – both unique and unforgettable. I can’t wait to go back and do it all over again!

Chefs: Cassandra, Felipe, Amelia & me in Tramonto's kitchen

Chefs: Cassandra, Felipe, Amelia & me in Tramonto's kitchen

Grilled Chile Relleno

Grilled Chile Relleno

Tortilleria "tortilla bakery." They make over 50,000 tortillas a day for the entire resort

Tortilleria "tortilla bakery." They make over 50,000 tortillas a day for the entire resort

Testing our recipes with the chefs

Testing our recipes with the chefs

Lobster + Ceja Chardonnay

Lobster + Ceja Chardonnay

Inside the test kitchen

Inside the test kitchen

Inside the restaurant, working the floor

Inside the restaurant, working the floor

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Photo Diary: Ceja Vineyards 2012 Harvest

Food & DrinkDalia1 Comment
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - 6:08am

I woke up hearing tractors drive near my window while the faint glow of the crisp morning light started to peek in my room. Harvest had started! The campesinos {vineyard workers} had actually been picking since 2am. Feeling the excitement in the air, I didn't even bother to hit the snooze button - I was up. The morning was damp, overcast and perfect for harvesting. Dressed in warm gym attire, I walked to the back of our Carneros property where they were already  busily picking Pinot Noir grapes.

I was greeted by my uncle Armando Ceja (our winemaker) who was tasting and sampling different clusters of fruit in a nearby bin. "It's perfect," he stated and then started to sort out leaves, twigs and fallen debri from a huge white bin. He was right, the fruit was juicy, plump and so sweet. I knew then that our 2012 vintage would be stellar! The crew was hard at work, moving fast, precise and skillful with the sharp knives in their hands. I couldn't help but gawk in wonder and admire their hard work with nothing but the deepest respect.

As soon as I started snapping pictures, I got in a zone and remembered my childhood during harvest. I can recall following after the crews picking up clusters left on the vines and on the ground. My family went from picking grapes to award winning vintners and it's because of the contribution of the Mexican labor force that makes it possible for Napa Valley wines to be enjoyed all over the world.

I couldn't have asked for a more inspiring morning in our vineyards. Happy Harvest y'all! Ole!

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Auction Napa Valley 2012

Fiestas, Food & DrinkDalia1 Comment
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You are cordially invited to the most extraordinary wine event in the world...

Auction Napa Valley has come and gone but I couldn't resist highlighting the decadent wine filled weekend that raised $8 Million for charity! My mom and I attended Saturday’s iconic Live Auction Day at Meadowood Resort where we hosted a table, poured Ceja Vineyards wines & participated in one of the live auction lots.

The over-the-top live auction was held in a huge white tent where, for more than three hours, 800 bidders, vintners and media socialized, cheered and chose to bid on more than 40 extravagant live auction lots. Why should you bid? Since its inception in 1981, Auction Napa Valley has given more than $100 million to dozens of Napa County health, youth development and affordable housing non-profits – pretty awesome!

Top Three Live-Auction Lots

1. Chappellet: $720,000

  • A 12-day African safari for four, dinner for 10 at the winery and four large-format bottles. Winning bid was $360,000, paid by two separate bidders.

2. Chappellet, Chateau Montelena, Gargiulo, Raymond, Shafer and Silver Oak: $460,000

  • A private concert for 28 people with Lady Antebellum, two-night trip to London and six large-format bottles.

3. Antica Napa Valley and Dalla Valle: $300,000

  • Three-night excursion in Napa for four, 10-night trip to Tuscany for four and 16 large-format bottles {Yay Maya!}.

If that still doesn’t quite do it for you, the food just might. Famed chef, Thomas Keller kicked off lunch with Ad Hoc’s fried chicken and Gotts Road House stand served over 700 burgers during the live auction. Emeril Lagasse hosted a sunset dinner on the lawn that included salmon crudo and roasted Colorado lamb rack accompanied with more than 200 Magnums of wine to pair. Doesn’t get much better than that! Ole!

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P.S. I'm heading to San Diego today with my EMBA class to sail with the USA Women's America's Cup team. More info later! Have a fabulous weekend!