Maya Dalla Valle

Maya Dalla Valle

Dalla Valle Vineyards (Winemaker & Director)

Maya Dalla Valle, although destined to be a winemaker, at first didn’t know it. As she says, "As a first generation American, my mom believed that it was important that I see beyond what was right in front of me, and explore other possibilities as I tried to find my place in the world." As a result, she went off to the University of Washington, where she earned a B.A. degree in international relations. Experience working at Neyers Vineyards in St. Helena, however, was where she found her love for winemaking: "I found that I love the collaborative spirit and camaraderie of growing grapes and making wine."

During the following decade, Maya earned a master's of professional studies degree in viticulture and enology from Cornell University, and later a master's of business and science degree in vineyard and winery management from France's prestigious Bordeaux Science Agro. She gained a broader understanding of the wine industry by working in sales at Kermit Lynch, a noted wine shop in San Francisco, and learning about public relations and marketing at the Click Wine Group in Seattle. Maya augmented in winemaking skills with stints at some of the world’s most legendary wineries, including Ornellaia e Masseto in Livorno, Italy, Bodega Rolland in the Uco Valley of Argentina, and France’s Château Pétrus in Pomerol, Château Latour in Pauillac, and Château Canon-la-Gaffelière in St. Emilion.

Maya returned to the Napa Valley in 2017, joining her mother at Dalla Valle Vineyards as the firm’s director. She was involved in every aspect of the work at the winery and was named its winemaker in 2020. In this role, she is implementing biodynamic viticultural techniques and overseeing a joint project with Ornellaia e Masseto, where she interned in 2013. The first vintage from this collaboration was produced in 2017, but the first release to the public was the “stronger” 2018 vintage.

As winemaker, Maya will continue the winery’s legacy of terroir-driven wines. As she says, “I also know that the greatest wineries are judged in terms of decades and generations, and that our story is still being written. I am honored to be carrying our family’s legacy into a second generation.”