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Meet Malia van der Kamp of van der Kamp Vineyard in Sonoma County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Malia van der Kamp.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Malia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up on my family’s farm/vineyard in Sonoma County, then went on to pursue a double BA in Theater and French from UCLA. During my time at UCLA, I developed a deeper love and appreciation of wine. I spent a summer in Burgundy studying winemaking and took night classes at UCLA Extension to get a business certificate in wine marketing and management. After graduating in 2013, I delved deeper into the wine world and began working as a sommelier at the restaurant Republique shortly after it opened. I recently returned to the family farm in Sonoma and have begun making my own wine and cider. I am currently working harvest in New Zealand, to learn more from vineyards and winemakers that I respect.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Growing up in the wine industry, I originally did not want to follow in my parent’s footsteps. I moved to LA wanting to carve my own path and work as an actress. I did so for some time and loved my theater studies at UCLA. But, I gradually came to realize that I was spending all my free time reading and studying about wine. By the end of my 7 years in LA, I was working full time as a sommelier, and any days off were spent going to tasting groups and furthering my wine knowledge rather than acting classes or auditions. I had to come to wine on my own terms and discover where my specific passions lay for myself.

Please tell us about van der Kamp Vineyard.
I primarily work for my family vineyard now, van der Kamp Vineyard. We are sustainably certified and grow Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier atop Sonoma Mountain, for a number of different wineries. Our site has a long spiritual history spanning all the way back to native stories of creation. We do all of the farming ourselves, by hand, fostering a deep connection with the land and soil that we cultivate.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I was born and raised on the vineyard and have many memories of playing hide and seek beneath the vines, laying in the tall damp weeds and mustard flowers watching the clouds swirl by, and begging my parents to let me stay home from school and help harvest the grapes.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.vanderkampvineyard.com
  • Email: vanderkampvineyard@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @vanderkampvineyard
  • Facebook: @vanderkampvineyard
  • Twitter: @vdK_Vineyard

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