Mia Mascarin-Oven: Winemaking, Family & Philanthropy
Mia Mascarin-Oven is a fourth-generation wine maker living in Tulsa. She joined the family wine business, 32 Winds Wine, shortly after her father realized his own life-long dream of starting a wine business and opened the vineyard in 2009. Prior to joining the venture, she logged 20-plus years working in the energy industry.
Mia’s family moved from California to Oklahoma, but Mia stayed close to her Italian immigrant family in California through frequent visits to the family farm. She and her father decided to deepen their California roots by starting a winery in California, but Mia’s job duties allow her to work remotely from Tulsa.
TK: What do you enjoy most about living in Tulsa?
Mia: Sharing time with our friends, our access to a diverse dining scene, enjoying the arts organizations, and especially, the generous and giving spirit of this community.
TK: What do you and your family like to do together for fun?
Mia: The list is long! A few things include visiting the Gathering Place, cycling on Riverside, attending the Tulsa Ballet performances, taking in exhibitions at any of our world-class museums and, of course, hosting friends in our home for dinner.
TK: Can you give us a little history of how 32 Winds came about?
Mia: A lot of people have the notion that we just started 32 Winds on a whim 12 years ago. In actuality, it all began over 100 years ago in Italy with my great grandfather, Angelo. In the early 1900s Angelo was a farmer and falconer living near the grounds of the local Duke near Zoppola, Italy, north of Venice. At that same time, back in California, a winemaking company called The Italian-Swiss Colony (later became “Asti”) was looking for laborers and vineyard managers to plant more vineyards in central California to supply the growing wine market. Angelo was recruited and left Italy for a new life in California. He spent many years working as a vineyard manager and later brought his wife over from Italy, and they had seven children, including my grandmother.
TK: Your family’s roots in the wine industry run deep! Tell us about how your father decided to start a wine business from Tulsa.
Mia: My father, Ed Mascarin, grew up in a world dominated by the grape production and winemaking industry. Most of his family was involved in agriculture though vineyard work, winery operations or fruit packing plants. Although his family worked hard, they were relatively poor. They could not have afforded to send him to college on their own, but fortunately his life took a turn when the local Lions Club in his small town awarded him a $1000 scholarship. Being a good athlete and student, he “walked on” to the Cal Berkely baseball team and the football team. He earned a degree in Industrial Engineering, which led to a life away from the family farm in California. He worked for manufacturing companies in several states and finally settled in Tulsa where he raised his family.
Forty-five years after leaving the vineyards and his boyhood home, his thoughts kept returning to the farm and the possibilities. He made the decision to return to his roots by developing a winemaking business.
TK: After more than 20 years in the energy industry, why did you decide to join your father in 32 Winds?
Mia: I loved my work in the energy field, but when offered a chance to work side by side with my father, it was a no-brainer. His invitation to join him in the winemaking business to develop our own brand was so meaningful for me. I was also excited to re-establish a connection to our family’s heritage.
TK: Tell us more about the vineyard, where it’s located and what it offers.
Mia: We have a beautiful vineyard and tasting room just outside of Healdsburg, California. We host visitors daily and love sharing our Rosé, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc. Everything is handcrafted with the best quality and care, not to mention, it’s delicious.
TK: What do you enjoy most about working in the wine industry?
Mia: I love that there is so much to learn! It’s like cooking: There is an art and a science to it. I also love the farming, the viticulture, creating something out of nothing but air, water, sunshine and lots of hands-on work. I love that most of all, the wine that we make becomes a vehicle for our customers to create memories with friends and family.
TK: What is it like working with your family?
Mia: It is a blessing. My dad has always been such an incredible mentor to me. We are partners in this adventure, and I am loving it.
TK: I know you are passionate about philanthropy and place personal importance in giving back. How did this become so important to you?
Mia: My mother was an artist. She also supported her local artist friends in many ways. I think it’s important to support the arts!
Art can change lives. Philanthropy is what allows a community to bring the wonder of the arts to the eyes and ears of the children and opens the door for creative energy to emerge. It’s a powerful partnership – ARTS and PHILANTHROPY.
TK: How do you instill the importance of giving to your son?
Mia: It is such a challenge to inject that into daily life. We get busy with school, work and it’s hard sometimes, but it is something my son and I talk about frequently. Our family tries to give to organizations we believe in, and we explain to my son the organization’s mission and its value to the community. I want him to understand that this is just part of being a responsible member of one’s community. But most of all, if I can instill in him the quality of kindness and compassion, everything else will flow from there.
TK: Do you have a favorite quote? Why does it resonate with you?
Mia: My favorite quote is by Mr. Rogers. He said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the Helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” I love that his mother pointed out a way to find the good. I also believe it’s important to look for the helpers, and to also BE a helper.
TK: What are some local organizations that are particularly close to your heart? What is it about these organizations that you feel connected to?
Mia: I am partial to organizations that support both child advocacy and the arts. There are so many worthwhile organizations in our city that it’s easy to find one to support! There are many ways people can give back; it doesn’t always have to be financially. It can also be contributing your time and talent. I have been an advisory board member of the Gilcrease Museum for many years.
TK: In a speech you gave at Philbrook, I noticed a comment you made about Tulsa’s future success is dependent upon interconnectedness, referring to an increased understanding between people and cultures. What is one way you view being interconnected and why do you think this is so important?
Mia: Our city is going through the most amazing renaissance, and I think it is because the citizens have come to realize that Tulsa’s future and its cultural success depends on interconnectedness – an increased understanding between people and its local cultures. I believe art can do this! The arts in a community can integrate points of view, unifying us through an understanding of each other’s perspective. The exhibition of art, whether through paint, sculpture, landscape, literature, drama, food and wine, music or dance – which Tulsa has all of those things in abundance – is a vehicle for sharing the artists’ point of view and frame of reference. Welcoming, appreciating, and learning about other perspectives only elevates us as a society.
TK: How do you personally incorporate the arts into your career?
Mia: I just make wine. Although I like to call it “Art in a Bottle.” And, if it helps to elevate our spirits, engage with each other, connect and be in the moment – for even a short while – then I’ve done my small part.
TK: Any other comments?
Mia: I am so proud of this city right now! I am in awe of the willingness of everyone to step up to the plate and do the right thing. Not only do we see the very generous families in this town stepping up in BIG WAYS – but even the citizens and taxpayers, who believed enough in our community to invest in its success, spoke loudly by voting for a public bond issue to invest in the expansion of Gilcrease Museum, and to build the Gathering Place. Isn’t that awesome? Tulsa has arrived!
Heck, I could live where my business is in the vineyards of Sonoma County; it’s a beautiful place. But you know what? I CHOOSE TULSA!
To learn more about Mia and her family’s wine business, you can check them out online: 32Windswine.com and on Instagram: @32Windswine
Nancy A. Moore is a Public Relations Coordinator at Montreau and Adjunct Professor at Tulsa Community College. She has been writing for TulsaKids for almost 20 years.