Chris Padberg – Co-Owner/ Co-Winemaker/ Sommelier
Chris, an artist at heart, and his older brother Jesse were born and raised on an apple farm in Dixon, New Mexico. After graduating from Taos High School in 1996, Chris attended the University of Tulane in New Orleans, Louisiana, for three years before transferring to and graduating from the University of New Mexico in 2001. While at UNM completing his degree in History, Chris worked on learning the craft of winemaking and securing the Vivác Winery licensing alongside his brother. Continuing education has been a sincere focus for Chris and he received his Sommelier Certification from the International Wine Guild in 2006 while also working toward his Winemaker’s Certification from UC Davis. Chris, his wife Liliana, his brother Jesse and his brother’s wife, Michele, opened the winery tasting room in Dixon in the fall of 2003. While he and his brother manage the vineyard and do all the winemaking together, Chris’ mastery of crop management and canopy pruning along with a love for the art of winemaking, ensure that their Estate Vineyards bring forth International Award Winning grapes every year. He lives with his wife, Liliana, son Maddox and daughter Chablis in Dixon. He enjoys biking and running with his son Maddox who competes in triathlons and now also with his daughter Chablis. Chris is an avid sailor and each year he and his family indulge their love of travel by seeking out a new adventure in a far off destination.
Liliana Padberg – Co-Owner/ Co-Business Management Team/ Sommelier
Chocolatier/ Owner of Ek.Chuah Chocolates
Liliana was born and raised in the beautiful city of Aguascalientes, Mexico. She worked as a model and studied photography in Mexico prior to moving to the USA in 2001. While assisting in the formation of Vivac Winery, she learned the art of painted mold chocolate making and studied photography at the University of New Mexico-Taos. Liliana created her phenomenal business Ek.Chuah Chocolates in 2002 and completed her Sommelier Certification at Esencial Sobre Vinos, Tecnica de la Cata, in Argentina in 2006. Chris, Liliana’s husband, her brother-in-law Jesse, and his wife, Michele, opened the winery tasting room in Dixon in the fall of 2003. The business management partnership with her sister-in-law Michele, allows Liliana to focus on the vital internal structure of the company centered on over seeing our tasting rooms. Her mastery of management includes developing and overseeing a cohesive team of staff that reflect the Vivac Winery branding, coordinating popular weekly tasting room events, developing exciting tasting room marketing campaigns and evolving our diverse wine clubs as they grow. Liliana lives with her winemaker husband Chris, her son Maddox and daughter Chablis in Dixon. She enjoys assisting her son Maddox with his pasta company “nefertiti” (available at Vivac Winery tasting rooms) and teaching Chablis photography skills to support her interest in animation and film making. Teaching both her kids to read and write in spanish, not just speak fluently, is a current goal. Each year Liliana and her family revel in their love of travel by seeking out a new adventure in a far off destination and visits back home to Mexico.
Jesse Padberg – Co-Owner/ Co-Winemaker/ Advanced Sommelier
President of the NM Wine Association
Michele Padberg – Co-Owner/ Co-Business Management Team/ Advanced Sommelier
International Wine Judge
Michele was born and raised in Taos, New Mexico, an arts community north of Dixon. After graduating from Taos High School in 1996, she studied at The School of The Art Institute of