Mayacamas Olds

Head of Viticulture, Newton Vineyards

Named after Napa Valley’s famous Mayacamas range, Mayacamas Olds is quite literally at home in Napa’s mountains. She was born at her family’s property on Mt. Veeder, just adjacent to Mayacamas Vineyards where her father was winemaker at the time. “I grew up in the wine world of the 1970s and around all those wonderful...

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Head of Viticulture, Newton Vineyards

Named after Napa Valley’s famous Mayacamas range, Mayacamas Olds is quite literally at home in Napa’s mountains. She was born at her family’s property on Mt. Veeder, just adjacent to Mayacamas Vineyards where her father was winemaker at the time. “I grew up in the wine world of the 1970s and around all those wonderful old Italians,” she says, recalling many famous-name early babysitters. Only nine months old at her first harvest, she happily sat on the ground under the shade of the vines, eating grapes—an early habit she has never broken. “Now I eat them compulsively, even table grapes,” she admits.

Mayacamas’ father believed in kids pulling their weight and by age eight, she was already pruning and washing barrels, while learning important life lessons. “I was raised in a family where sustainability was a fundamental value,” she says. “And the core of my understanding of quality in winemaking is from my dad.”

From high school, Mayacamas moved to Spain, where she spent a year

and a half working in a sherry house in Jerez. Returning to the US, she earned a BS in Fermentation Science at UC Davis. She then spent six years in Australia working at Pernod

Ricard and Penfolds, with annual trips home to help her father at harvest. When she came home to stay, she worked for Phil Couturri at Enterprise Vineyards as a business manager and winemaker. “Phil really drove home for me the principles of organic farming and thinking outside the box,” she notes. “And that retaining our Napa history is incredibly important. We can bring in new technologies while still holding on to the history of how we got here as an industry.”

Maycamas left Enterprise to earn her MBA in Sustainable Solutions at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, while also working at Diageo. After completing a project at Quintessa, she joined the team at Newton in September 2017. “Napa is my home, that I grew up in, and I want to care for it,” she says. “I love working with Jean-Baptiste Rivail and the team. Together, we have a strong focus on protecting Napa’s heritage.”

At Newton, Mayacamas implements a philosophy of regenerative farming, making sure the soils are healthy so the vines can make the best quality grapes. “It’s focusing on the soil so that chemical interventions aren’t necessary,” she explains. “There are a lot of challenges because Newton’s vineyards are really diverse, we can’t treat any one block like another block. It’s a small collection overall, but highly complex.”

Mayacamas Olds lives in St. Helena. When not in the vineyards or winery, she loves gardening and helping her family. She also enjoys traveling, reading and being active, especially swimming.

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