Mario and Tracy Vargas founded Sangria de Las Montanas in 2021 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado after Tracy retired from the U.S. Army, and they returned from living in Germany. The couple first met while Tracy was serving with the Peace Corps in Mario’s home country of El Salvador from 2003 to 2006. Mario’s background in the restaurant industry in El Salvador and his passion for fine food and drink were further developed when he moved to Colorado.
From 2016 to 2020, the Vargas family lived in Landstuhl, Germany due to military stationing. During this time, they traveled across Europe, exploring vineyards in various countries and experiencing different culinary cultures. In Barcelona, Mario perfected his recipe for Sangria Roja and learned about wine pairing in traditional paella culinary classes. The family also enjoyed exploring Christmas markets across Germany, France, Belgium, and The Netherlands, which inspired the creation of a warmed variation of German Glühwein, now called Glühwein vom Berg.
In 2020, the family moved to Steamboat Springs, CO when Tracy accepted a position as a physician with UC Health. It was in Steamboat Springs that Sangria Blanco, a lighter and fruitier version of Sangria Roja, was created. After sharing their Sangria Roja y Blanco and Glühwein vom Berg with family and friends, they decided to formalize a company and market their products.
Sangria de Las Montanas was introduced as the signature drink at a backyard wedding for good friends, which marked the beginning of the company in 2021.