Sonja Magdevski

Sonja Magdevski

Casa Dumetz (Winemaker and Co-Owner)

In 2003, Sonja Magdevski found herself in the Republic of Macedonia, her family’s homeland, doing fieldwork to complete a Master’s degree in journalism. While there, her father took her on a tour of the family’s fields, where the sight of several old grapevines still surviving after almost four decades of neglect prompted her to enter the wine industry. Upon her return to Malibu, where she had moved in 2002, to complete her thesis, a chance encounter with Emilio Estevez at the flower shop where she was working, led to a partnership that persists to this day. He was in the midst of planting a vineyard and needed all the help he could get. Sonja jumped at the opportunity. What began then has grown into an adventure of wine and spirit, accompanied by hard work, calloused hands, and a deeply personal approach to both viticulture and winemaking.

In reality, Sonja never thought she would become a winemaker. As a journalist by training, her love of a good story is never-ending, as is her ability to craft a good story out of every subject. Winemaking and writing are very similar pursuits – the story is in the grapes, the harvest, the season, and the resources for that year.

Her academic training in winemaking has included taking a wide range of viticulture and oenology classes at Allan Hancock College, and she augments this knowledge by constantly reading journals and picking people’s brains about their winemaking techniques.

At Casa Dumetz Wines, Sonja has crafted a Syrah Rosé, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Grenache, among other varietals. Sonja is now returning to her initial plan of producing Pinot Noir. With the 2017 vintage, she will return to producing only this varietal.