Maya Dalla Valle
Director—Dalla Valle Vineyards
Maya was destined to be a winemaker. In 1986, the year she was conceived, her parents, Naoko and Gustav, made their first vintage of estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon. The following year—the year she was born—they planted Maya’s Vineyard, a 5-acre block of Cabernet Sauvignon that has become one of the most revered winegrowing sites in America. In 1992, this remarkable vineyard yielded a wine that would go on to earn Dalla Valle’s first perfect 100-point score from legendary critic Robert Parker. Growing up at Dalla Valle in the company of winemakers like Heidi Barrett, Tony Soter and Mia Klein infused Maya’s formative years with a sense of place and purpose that has come to define her adult life.
In 2017, Dalla Valle became a true multigenerational winery, when Maya joined the winery as director. Committed to earning her place in the family business before coming to Dalla Valle, Maya holds a master’s degree in viticulture and enology from Cornell University, and a master’s of business and science degree in vineyard and winery management from France’s prestigious Bordeaux Science Agro. Equally important, Maya gained invaluable hands-on winemaking experience at Ornellaia e Masseto, Bodegas Rolland, Pétrus and Château Latour. “Dalla Valle is my home. It is also my family’s legacy,” says Maya. “I am so excited to be working alongside my mom. Dalla Valle is her life’s work, and what she has created is remarkable. 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.”