About Our Winemaker Sheyenne Drake

About Our Winemaker Sheyenne Drake

Posted by Arena Blanca Winery on Apr 10th 2024

Meet Sheyenne, a native of Alamogordo, New Mexico, whose journey from a young environmental enthusiast to an emerging force in viticulture embodies passion, dedication, and a deep-rooted love for the natural world. From her early days, Sheyenne exhibited an unparalleled connection with the environment, particularly in nurturing plant life, a skill that seamlessly intertwined with her academic pursuits and personal passions. 

Sheyenne's academic journey led her to New Mexico State University, where she delved into the complexities of biology, earning a Bachelor of Science degree. Her academic prowess was complemented by minors in Chemistry and Genetics & Biotechnology, broadening her understanding of the natural world on a molecular level. Beyond her scholarly achievements, Sheyenne's collegiate life was marked by her athletic vigor; as a Division I Cross Country and Track & Field athlete, she not only competed at the highest levels but also earned Academic All-WAC recognition, a testament to her ability to balance rigorous academic and athletic commitments. 

The summer of 2024 marks a significant milestone for Sheyenne as she anticipates completing her winemaking certification through the prestigious University of California at Davis. This achievement is not just a step but a leap towards realizing her dreams in the world of wine and viticulture. Sheyenne's passion for wine has taken her on exploratory journeys to some of the world's most renowned wine regions, including Hermitage, Prosecco, and the Southern Rhone, enriching her understanding and appreciation of global wine cultures and practices. 

Currently, Sheyenne plays a pivotal role in the field management and cultivation of McGinn's 14-acre vineyard. Her responsibilities extend beyond cultivation; she oversees the grape harvest and has been instrumental in producing several of Arena Blanca brand wines, including favorites like Pistachio Delight, Sweet Clarissa, White Sands, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, and La Luz Red. Her contribution to these creations reflects her innovative spirit and commitment to excellence in winemaking. 

Sheyenne's journey is a blend of scientific acumen, athletic discipline, and a profound passion for viticulture. Her story is not just about the wines she helps create but about the legacy she's building in the heart of New Mexico, rooted in a deep love for the land and its bountiful offerings. Join us as we toast to Sheyenne's ongoing journey, a tale of growth, discovery, and the relentless pursuit of passion.